Evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders in individuals with ASDs: a consensus report

Pediatrics. 2010 Jan;125 Suppl 1:S1-18. doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-1878C.


Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are common and clinically heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorders. Gastrointestinal disorders and associated symptoms are commonly reported in individuals with ASDs, but key issues such as the prevalence and best treatment of these conditions are incompletely understood. A central difficulty in recognizing and characterizing gastrointestinal dysfunction with ASDs is the communication difficulties experienced by many affected individuals. A multidisciplinary panel reviewed the medical literature with the aim of generating evidence-based recommendations for diagnostic evaluation and management of gastrointestinal problems in this patient population. The panel concluded that evidence-based recommendations are not yet available. The consensus expert opinion of the panel was that individuals with ASDs deserve the same thoroughness and standard of care in the diagnostic workup and treatment of gastrointestinal concerns as should occur for patients without ASDs. Care providers should be aware that problem behavior in patients with ASDs may be the primary or sole symptom of the underlying medical condition, including some gastrointestinal disorders. For these patients, integration of behavioral and medical care may be most beneficial. Priorities for future research are identified to advance our understanding and management of gastrointestinal disorders in persons with ASDs.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Caseins / administration & dosage
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / complications
  • Child Behavior Disorders / etiology
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / complications*
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / immunology
  • Child Nutrition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Child Nutrition Disorders / etiology
  • Databases, Genetic
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Digestive System
  • Diet, Gluten-Free
  • Diet, Protein-Restricted
  • Food Hypersensitivity / complications
  • Food Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / complications
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / immunology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / therapy*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / physiology
  • Genetic Testing
  • Health Education
  • Health Personnel / education
  • Humans
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Medical History Taking
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Patient Care Team
  • Permeability
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Radiography, Abdominal


  • Caseins