Problem behaviors could provide clues on health challenges for children, adolescents with autism

Posted in Health Psychology

MU researcher examines relationship between gastrointestinal symptoms and problem behaviors in autism spectrum disorder June 27th, 2019 COLUMBIA, Mo. – For years, researchers have documented both gastrointestinal issues and problematic behaviors, such as aggression, in many children with autism spectrum disorder. Researchers from the University of Missouri have now found that both internalizing and externalizing problem behaviors might indicate gastrointestinal distress in children and adolescents with autism. Bradley Ferguson, assistant research professor in the departments of health psychology, radiology, and the Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders, examined records from 340 children and adolescents with autism who are patients at the Thompson Center. Ferguson found that 65% of patients experienced constipation, nearly half  experienced stomach pain, nearly 30% experienced diarrhea and 23% experienced nausea. Furthermore, some of these gastrointestinal symptoms were associated with different behaviors, such as anxiety and aggression. “We are starting to better understand how gastrointestinal issues coincide with problem behaviors...

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