Gastrointestinal symptoms and behavioral problems in preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are frequently reported in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and an impact of GI comorbidity on ASD behavioral problems has been hypothesized.
A total of 230 preschoolers were included in this study.
Specifically, four groups of children were evaluated:
ASD individuals suffering from GI symptoms (ASD/GI+),
ASD subjects without GI symptoms (ASD/GI-),
TD peers with (TD/GI+) and without
(TD/GI-) GI symptoms.
Parental report of behavioral problems and GI symptoms were assessed through the Child Behavior Check List 1½-5.
A significant higher percentage of ASD (37.4%) versus TD (14.8%) with GI symptoms was observed.
‘Constipated’ and ‘Not-Eat’ were the most frequent GI symptoms both in ASD and in TD groups, but they were evaluated as more severe in ASD patients.
ASD/GI+ children had more anxiety problems, somatic complaints, externalizing and total problems than ASD/GI- individuals.
TD/GI+ did not show more behavioral problems than TD/GI-.
Development of evidence-based guidelines for identification of GI problems in ASD preschoolers is warranted. GI symptomatology should be accurately assessed, especially in ASD children with anxiety and/or externalizing behavioral problems.
Copyright © 2015 Editrice Gastroenterologica Italiana S.r.l. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.