By Lisa Ackerman
Once again, warning: If you are eating or you are bothered by a conversation about bowel movements, this blog is not for you. If you have a child living with autism, welcome to the most discussed topic. If this blog sounds familiar, it should! We have written about it before (1.) What’s different is an important update and new findings.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) just created a 14 page insert on gastrointestinal issues and autism for ALL pediatricians. Here’s what they found:
“At a minimum, these results reinforce expert consensus that parents and health care providers should be educated about possible GI symptoms and pathophysiology in children with ASD, and children suspected of having possible GI disorders should be screened accordingly. In addition, the magnitude of the observed association combined with difficulties identifying and studying GI dysfunction in ASD warrants the adoption of a lower referral threshold by practitioners for evaluation and treatment by a gastroenterologist if an underlying problem is suspected. Children with ASD often present with limited verbal communication, and as a result, their symptom presentation may be unusual compared with that of their peers”.
Read the full study and marvel at what families have been stating for 15 years. This important family reported information is now being heard (2.)
In 2013, TACA provided over 33,000 incidences of support to families living with autism. The number one support question besides autism is about gastrointestinal issues. Parents can read more about the signs, symptoms, testing and treatments available (3).
You may think that I am obsessed with talking about poop. You’d be right. I’ll say it again: Almost all roads related to autism lead to it. Ok, call me a “poop peeper.” I proudly acknowledge that almost every conversation I have with a parent involves their kid’s poop!
I am grateful for the American Academy of Pediatrics in recognizing the importance of gastrointestinal issues plaguing many that are diagnosed with autism. Their findings were released in 2010. Their study and consensus report (4) is driving more treatment for individuals suffering with issues that can be effectively treated. Thankfully, this new insert takes the standards of care a giant step forward.
In less than 3 years, we have covered key gastrointestinal and autism research on this blog:
As parents, we often wonder: Does the window close? Is it too late? The answer is never (5). Parents can investigate and start treatments today. Reduction of pain can happen today.
What has me so excited is: autism research is accelerating at fast pace. Dr Rossignol shared these new numbers with us at the last TACA Real Help Now Conference:
Photo caption: graphic above show PubMed published studies with autism tags in Nov. 2013 at 24,667 and April 2014 26,103
Once again, we are glad the science speaks for itself. Parents should feel empowered with this new research to get clear diagnostics and treatment for their children in need. No one should live in pain. Treatments are available and it is up to us the parents to push them forward based on our children’s needs.