My husband and I have gone to autism conferences and what astounds me is that only Zach has autism but we had a difficult time separating Jack's issues. His gut issues are similar to a lot of issues parents have had with their children with autism. We were at the conference for Zach essentially but learned just as much for Jack.
Again to diagnose a child with autism they need to meet certain criteria. Speech or language delay, social impairment and odd behaviour. But many children have some other similarities that are not part of diagnosing autism. Quite a few children with autism have seizures, diarrhea or constipation, and sleep issues but these are not generally part of the official diagnoses. It is also very common for siblings of autistic children to have allergies or asthma.
I am not an expert and therefore just telling you things that we have learned from these conferences, our own research and friends. Jack and Zach both have had seizures, all four of our children have allergies and Jack has had major gut issues.
The gut acts like a second brain and therefore if there are gut issues, there can be problems with absorption of nutrients and major behavioral issues.
He has pain in his tummy so he doesn't eat and so he doesn't sleep. He can be awake for hours at a time at night. He will go downstairs to the kitchen and be hunting for food in the middle of the night or just playing. We have found the fridge wide open and after a birthday party he ate a huge amount of the leftover cake. Great for his gut eh?
Could Jack's issues all be related to his gut? We really cannot separate the sleep issues from the food issues or even the horrible three year old behaviour. He is screaming and throwing things and hitting things out of frustration. The speech delay certainly doesn't help his frustration.
Jack has been on antibiotics, nystatin for thrush two separate times; steroids including prednisone; puffers and hydrocortisone ointment for terrible eczema. I can't overlook the steroids I was given when I was pregnant with him for threatened pre-term labour to prematurely develop his lungs. Could all these drugs really mean that he has a problem with yeast??? The way his body craves sugar may also point to the possibility that there is a problem with yeast.
So here we are continuing to search for the possibility that something is truly ailing Jack. I cannot and do not believe that Jack is just a difficult kid.