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Gastrointestinal disease is one of the leading medical comorbidities in children with autism and is responsible for a great deal of physical suffering. The severity of gastrointestinal disease correlates with the severity of ASD behaviors (and likely cognition) and their presence impedes the progress that can be gained from standard behavioral therapies. Practitioners who are unfamiliar with the symptomatic and laboratory presentations of G.I. symptoms in poorly communicative ASD children and with the common G.I. diagnoses associated with autism often lead patients through a labyrinth of diagnostic testing, often overlooking or misinterpreting clues along the way. This lecture demonstrates one such patient journey and underscores the need for:
1) Clinician familiarity with "behaviors" being potential manifestations of gastrointestinal symptoms.
2) Clinician familiarity with laboratory/imaging results that usually indicate the presence of quantifiable gastrointestinal pathology.
3) Clinician familiarity with the range of common gastrointestinal diagnoses in children with autism.