ABSTRACT Objective: There are few previously published studies of feeding problems and/or gastrointestinal dysfunction among children with Asperger syndrome (AS) or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD-NOS), compared to sibling controls. Study Design: On-line parent autism groups 90% from North America. Statistical analysis: Chi square and binomial logistic regression statistical analysis Results: Completed surveys were received for 64 children with AS, 44 with PDD-NOS, total = 108), and 82 normal sibling matches. Children with high-functioning autism had higher likelihood of frequent (>50% of the time) problematic feeding behaviors and gastrointestinal dysfunction, such as unusual food preferences (OR 23.9, 95% CI 7.3 - 78.7), insistence on unusual food presentation (OR 5.8, 95% CI 1.8 - 18.4), and poor mealtime social behavior (OR 16.1, 95% CI 4.1 - 64.1). These children also had higher odds of frequent constipation (OR 8.3, 95% CI 2.2 - 31.9) and fecal incontinence (OR 5.4, 95% CI 1.1 - 27.3). Nine children in AS/PDD-NOS group (4%) were believed by parent to have celiac disease (3 or 1% had intestinal biopsy), compared to 2 in control group. Conclusion: 57% of the AS/PDD-NOS group had frequent unusual food preferences vs. 5% of controls. Forty-eight percent of children with AS/PDD-NOS had frequent dislikes of new foods, compared to 6% of controls. For symptoms of specific gastrointestinal dysfunction, children with AS/PDD-NOS had higher prevalence of frequent constipation (30% vs. 4%) and fecal incontinence (22% vs. 2%).
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