Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 7, pp 1520–1525

Brief Report: Association Between Behavioral Features and Gastrointestinal Problems Among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder


    • Waisman Center and Department of Population Health SciencesUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Carrie L. Arneson
    • Waisman CenterUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Susan E. Levy
    • Children’s Hosptial of Philadelphia
  • Russell S. Kirby
    • Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public HealthUniversity of South Florida
  • Joyce S. Nicholas
    • Medical University of South Carolina
  • Maureen S. Durkin
    • Waisman Center and Departments of Pediatrics and Population Health SciencesUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
Brief Report

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-011-1379-6

Cite this article as:
Maenner, M.J., Arneson, C.L., Levy, S.E. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2012) 42: 1520. doi:10.1007/s10803-011-1379-6


Recent reports suggest certain behaviors among children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) may indicate underlying gastro-intestinal (GI) problems, and that the presence of these behaviors may help alert primary care providers to the need to evaluate a child with ASD for GI problems. The purpose of this population-based study of 487 children with ASD, including 35 (7.2%) with a medically documented history of GI problems, was to compare behavioral features of children with and without a history of GI problems. Unusual sleeping or eating habits and oppositional behavior were significantly associated with GI problems. These behaviors, however, were frequent in both children with and without GI problems, suggesting they may have limited utility in a screening capacity for GI problems.


Autism spectrum disorder Gastrointestinal

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011