To increase the ability of pediatricians and other doctors to treat the GI conditions that often trouble children with autism, the ATN's GI committee has been drafting algorithms for Constipation, Chronic Diarrhea and Food Allergies. Because constipation seems to be a common issue for children with ASD, the committee has made a priority of finalizing and testing the constipation algorithm.
The constipation algorithm guides pediatricians in diagnosing and treating the condition and helps them determine when it is appropriate to refer on to a GI specialist. This flow diagram has been adapted from the NASPGHAN guideline (Constipation Guideline Committee, 2006)* which was developed for typically developing children with constipation. Supporting text and tools will be tailored to inform pediatricians on how to address these issues in children with ASD. Cincinnati Children's Hospital, University of Colorado (Children's Hospital), University of Rochester Medical Center and Arkansas Children's Hospital are piloting the constipation algorithm for feasibility. The results will be analyzed using data from the ATN Registry to assess whether the algorithm is leading to positive health outcomes.
* Constipation Guideline Committee of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology. Evaluation and treatment of constipation in infants and children: recommendations of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2006 Sep;43(3):e1-13.