In children with autism, repetitive behaviors and gastrointestinal problems may be connected, new research has found.
The study found that increased severity of other autism symptoms was also associated with more severe constipation, stomach pain and other gut difficulties.
The research, which appears in the journal Autism, found no association between social and communication difficulties and gastrointestinal symptoms.
The study doesn’t explain the biological mechanism for the relationship between repetitive behaviors, such as rocking back and forth and hand flapping, and gut problems. But it helps establish that gastrointestinal symptoms may exacerbate repetitive behaviors, or vice versa, a finding that could one day help lead to helpful interventions, said Payal Chakraborty, a graduate student in The Ohio State University College of Public Health who led the study.
Children with autism spectrum disorder are more likely than their typically developing peers to experience a range of gastrointestinal abnormalities, including chronic