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Calls to Action

Gastrointestinal Conditions in Children

with Autism Spectrum Disorders Highlighted in National Symposium
November 15, 2009

Autism Speaks, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) will host one of the largest gatherings of researchers, clinicians and pediatric specialists to better understand the gastrointestinal (GI) problems in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The meeting will be held Sunday November 15, 2009, from 8:00 am – 3:30 pm, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor Md.

The goals of this meeting are to raise awareness among specialists about GI disorders in autism; to educate clinicians and researchers on the latest scientific information on the pathophysiology, evaluation, and treatment of ASD-GI disorders; and toidentify critical areas for research for ASD-GI disorders. Nationally and internationally known speakers will address issues such as intestinal permeability, inflammatory processes, motility, nutrition, and the epidemiology, clinical phenotypes and management of GI issues in ASD.

Recent studies indicate that ASDs affect up to one in 91 individuals in the U.S. and an estimated one percent of people worldwide. Studies suggest that GI concerns are common among individuals with ASD. For many individuals,GI symptoms are of significant concern and may contribute to challenging behaviors such as posturing, self injury and outbursts resulting from GI discomfort.

This symposium was spearheaded by the leadership of Autism Speaks' Autism Treatment Network (ATN), a network of medical centers dedicated to improving the health and healthcare of individuals with autism. Co-chairs for the meeting are George Fuchs, M.D., Chair of the ATN Gastroenterology Committee and Daniel Coury, M.D., ATN Medical Director.

Read the press release here.

For more information, please visit www.naspghan.org.