Question: Could there be an underlying medical condition that is causing my child with autism to act out?
Answer: There are a variety of medical illnesses that are seen in children with autism that I wouldn't suggest cause symptoms that are autism, but they cause autistic-like behaviors. And so very often when we see children who have autism who are acting out or crying or having self injury, we're looking for the underlying medical factor that may be accounting for those type of behaviors that we see in autism.
And those conditions include very often some type of pain. Headaches, toothaches, ear infections are common reasons why children act out and appear to be more autistic. In the GI arena we very very commonly see conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux or acid reflux accounting for pain and accounting for behaviors. Other reasons for abdominal pain like distension or gas or maldigestion of certain carbohydrates or constipation may also cause abdominal pain which causes children with autism to act out very frequently.