This notion has not yet reached mainstream penetration in the health service, yet, according to some sources, intestinal problems may affect up to 70 percent of autistic children!
Why is the detection rate so low?
Autistic children often have problems communicating, so their guardians do not see the problems which the children cannot articulate. The symptoms such as green stools, diarrhea, or constipation are often ignored by doctors. Problems with getting help also stem from a lack of special questionnaires for nonverbal people.
The researchers from Johns Hopkins University have followed hundreds of studies concerning autistic children (and not focused on diet or the GI tract), of which they chose 84. They have judged them based on GI symptoms. The differences in occurrence of diarrhea (ranging from 4 to 46 percent) or constipation (from 2 to 76 percent) are dramatic, and point towards a basic problem—lack of a standardized interview. Currently, only parents are a reliable source of information for the doctors, even though therapists could also be one—as long as they are trained and have proper questionnaires at their disposal.