What do seizures have to do with autism? Seizure disorder and epilepsy occur frequently in autistic children. Nearly 30% of children with autism were diagnosed with epilepsy while fewer than 1% of neurotypical children develop clinical seizures.
We’re all struggling to get our children to eat the “right” things. For most parents eating the “right” things mean a healthy well-balanced diet. For parents of children with pica – a condition where children eat or mouth non-food items – the struggle is less about eating the “right” things and more about not eating the “wrong” things.
Pica can be a confusing condition to deal with. For those of us who aren’t affected by the condition it’s almost impossible to understand why your child would want to eat foul-tasting inedible items. Like with so many other conditions associated with autism, when we understand the root cause of the behavior we can start to reduce or eliminate it.
Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome or PANS is a rare, but serious condition that occurs in children with autism at a higher rate than in neurotypical children.
PANS is very similar to PANDAS but it’s different in one very important way: the underlying cause of the condition is unknown.
When we’re talking about PANDAS and autism, we’re not talking about the cute black and white bears. PANDAS, as it relates to autism, means Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disease Associated with Strep.
Have you ever had this experience with your child?
Parent: Go get your shoes on.
Parent walks away to gather purse, keys, and coat.
Child walks off toward shoes. Stops at the kitchen table to work on a puzzle that wasn’t put away. A dog barks in the distance. Child walks to the window to see who is walking by. Parent rushes into the kitchen, checks watch.
Hypotonia, or low muscle tone, is common in autistic children. Some studies have shown that over 50% of children with ASD experienced hypotonia. Because of its prevalence among autistic children, hypotonia often serves as an early indicator that your child may fall on the autism spectrum.
Echolalia, the precise repetition of words or phrases, is a common characteristic of autism. More often than not autistic children use echolalia as a response to directions. They may repeat what people around them have said or they may repeat words or phrases from TV shows.
In my experience, I’ve found some medical professionals shrug off gastrointestinal complaints in autistic kids because “it’s just a part of autism.” I want to offer you a new perspective on these GI issues, especially diarrhea in autistic children.
Persistent diarrhea can be dangerous so it’s important to understand what’s causing it and learn how to address it.
Toe-walking is common among children with autism. A study conducted in Sweden concluded that 41% of children with a cognitive or neuropsychiatric disorder such as autism, were or had been toe-walkers.
There are a variety of medical issues associated with toe-walking but it can also occur in children without any underlying medical condition.
Many of our autistic children struggle with constipation. As a whole, children on the spectrum are more likely to have GI issues than their neurotypical peers. However, identifying constipation in your child isn’t always as simple as it seems.