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J Pediatr. 2013 Sep;163(3):873-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.02.028. Epub 2013 Mar 22.

Autism spectrum disorders in children with functional defecation disorders.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Emma Children's Hospital, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. b.peeters@amc.uva.nl

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To prospectively assess the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms in children presenting with functional defecation disorders.

STUDY DESIGN:

Children (age 4-12 years) with functional constipation or functional non-retentive fecal incontinence according to the Rome III criteria referred to a specialized outpatient clinic were included. Parents completed 2 validated ASD screening questionnaires about their child; the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) and the Social Communication Questionnaire-Lifetime (SCQ-L). A total SRS score of ≥ 51 is a strong indicator for the presence of ASD. On the SCQ-L, a score of ≥ 15 is suggestive for ASD.

RESULTS:

In total, 242 patients (130 males, median age 7.9 years) were included. Of these, 91% were diagnosed with functional constipation and 9% with functional non-retentive fecal incontinence. Thirteen children (5.4%) had previously been diagnosed with ASD. Twenty-six children (11%) had both SRS and SCQ-L scores at or above cutoff points, strongly suggestive for the presence of ASD. Solely high SRS were present in 42 children (17%), whereas two children (1%) only had high SCQ-L scores. Altogether, 29% had ASD symptoms, indicated by SRS and/or SCQ-L scores at or above the cutoff values. These children were older than children without ASD symptoms and presented with a longer duration of symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS:

A substantial number of children (29%) presenting with a functional defecation disorder at a tertiary hospital has concomitant ASD symptoms. Clinicians should be aware of ASD symptoms in children with functional defecation disorders.

KEYWORDS:

ADHD; ASD; Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder; Autism spectrum disorder; FC; FI; FNRFI; Fecal incontinence; Functional constipation; Functional non-retentive fecal incontinence; GP; General practitioner; SCQ; SCQ-L; SRS; Social Communication Questionnaire; Social Communication Questionnaire-Lifetime; Social Responsiveness Scale

PMID:
23522863
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.02.028
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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