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Learn about the most common co-occurring conditions in Autism.

Please note: Autism Society of Greater Phoenix (ASofGP) website provides general information regarding medical research, treatment options, therapies and nutrition to the autism community.  The information comes from a variety of sources and ASofGP does not independently verify any of it.  Nothing in this website should be construed as medical advice.  Always consult your child’s doctor regarding this or her individual needs.

Co Morbid Educational Project
Contrary to what you may hear autism is treatable. It is important to find effective services, treatments and education for autistic children as soon as possible. The earlier these children receive appropriate treatment, the better their prognosis-this includes ruling out common co-occurring medical conditions.

Children with autism often have other co-occurring medical conditions, including mental retardation (about 50%), seizures (25%), subclinical seizures (60-80%), low muscle tone (about 30%), sensory sensitivities (about 30%), gastrointestinal problems (chronic constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, abdominal pain in about 50%), and sleep problems (about 50%).
Some abnormal behaviors of children with autism are actually caused by medical issues. Once these medical issues are addressed the behaviors stop.
It is impossible to learn effectively if you do not feel well .
Some children actually lose skills or do not retain skills because of a medical condition.

What are the most common co-occurring medical conditions for children with Autism?
Gastrointestinal Disorders:
-According to an article in the Journal of Medical Microbiology in 2005 “Children with ASD tend to suffer from severe gastrointestinal problems. “ It found that “GI problems were significantly more frequent in ASD patients than in controls demonstrating a significant association between GI symptoms and autism.”
-It is important to see a GI specialist if your child experiences any constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, reflux, or abdominal pain
-There are several easy treatments that the doctors can give to relieve these symptoms

Seizure Disorders:
-According to a study published in Epilepsy and Behavior 10 to 30 percent of children with a autism have Epilepsy.    Autism and epilepsy: Cause , consequence, co morbidity or coincidence? By Lidia Gabis, John Pomeroy and Mary R. Androla
-Epilepsy is a well-known co morbidity of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), with about one third of these children developing seizures over their lifetime.
-Seizures do NOT always present exactly the same way in every individual. They can be different from a major convulsion on the floor to minor seizures which look like rapid eye movement or a period of “zoning out.”

Immune Disorders:
Approximately 25% of children on the spectrum have immune deficiency and dysfunction.
-Most children with autism do not have symptoms so it is important to run the lab work to rule this disorder.
-Children who have gastrointestinal disorders are very likely to have immune deficiency.

How To Access Excellent Medical Care Documents

Autism: Children Suffering in Silence Documentary produced in partnership with Autism Society of Greater Phoenix and ASU School of Walter Cronkite

2. How to Access Excellent Medical Care-8

3. The Co-Morbid Conditions of Autism Spectrum Disorders

4. Tracking Medical Bills-1

5. Autism Alarm

6. Parent Letter April 2009


8. AutismComorbidities

9. Management of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

10. Primary Medical Care For Children With Autism Needs Improvement

11. Med Home for Children with Autism

12. Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment of GI

13. Recommendations of diagnosis and treatment of GI for children with ASD

14. Seizure Study

15. Metabolic_Geneticist

16. Mito Study Dimauro autism article

17. SCAD Deficiency

18. tuchman study

Additional Links:

Other Co Morbid Conditions Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Seizure Disorders
Constipation and/or Diarrhea
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorders (EGIDs)
Celiac Disease
Mitochondrial Diseases
Inborn Errors of Metabolism
Tuberous Sclerosis
Fragile X Syndrome
Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases
Anxiety Disorders
Food and Environmental Allergies
Feeding Issues
Sleep disorders
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Mood Disorders
Sensory Processing Disorders
Tourette Syndrome
Rett Syndrome
Central Auditory Processing Disorders