How to Deal With & Improve Constipation in Autistic Children

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Constipation is a common problem in children who have autism, but it can also occur in other conditions. Constipation may be due to lack of functional motor control or increased pressure on the bladder and bowel from sensory overload. Therapy options include massage, reflexology, exercise therapy, biofeedback & counseling for parents.

Constipation is a common issue for autistic children, and it can be difficult to deal with. This article will explain how to help your child manage their constipation. Read more in detail here: how to deal with depression.


Children with autism are more likely to have gastrointestinal issues, such as constipation. This may appear as feeding issues in many young children, such as:

  • Strong aversions to some foods.

  • Preferences for a calorie-restricted diet.

  • Meal rituals and actions that repeat themselves.

  • Tantrums when it’s time to eat.

If the youngster refuses to eat a variety of foods, their diet will be restricted, which might exacerbate constipation.

It’s a good idea to check with your child’s doctor first to make sure there aren’t any health difficulties. Then behavior therapy may be beneficial. To promote digestive health, a behavior therapist may assist your child’s desire to consume a broader variety of foods, including fruits and vegetables.

What Is Constipation and How Does It Affect You?

Constipation is a digestive disorder characterized by irregular bowel motions.

Constipation may be identified by the following symptoms:

  • Stool that is lumpy, dry, or hard to pass.

  • Difficulty or discomfort in passing bowel motions.

  • A feeling that not all of your feces has been passed.

Constipation Affects Whom the Most?

Constipation affects almost everyone at some point, however some individuals are more prone to it than others.

Chronic constipation is a problem for some people, and it may have a negative impact on their health. Constipation is not an illness in and of itself. It’s generally a sign of something else, which might be transient or long-term.

While genetics, age, and gender are linked to an increased risk of constipation, anybody may be affected by typical constipation causes. These are some of them: 

  • Dehydration.

  • Intake of fiber is insufficient.

  • Supplements to the diet.

  • Prescription drugs, for example.

  • underlying health issues affecting the gastrointestinal tract

Constipation may be alleviated by altering your diet to include more whole fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. If you have an underlying risk factor for constipation, you should pay more attention to your food and lifestyle to lessen the frequency and severity of your constipation.

How Does Constipation Affect Autism in Children?

When compared to neurotypical people, people with autism are more prone to gastrointestinal issues including constipation.

The study of the link between this developmental condition and digestive issues is only getting started. According to some recent medical study, the relationship between digestive disorders, autism, and eating problems in early children is so strong that mealtime challenges might be included in the diagnostic criteria for autism.

Internalizing and externalizing behaviors in children on the autistic spectrum, according to scientists, may signal gastrointestinal discomfort, particularly if they struggle with speech and can’t inform their parents or caregivers that they’re uncomfortable.

When compared to the control group, one research revealed no significant difference in total gastrointestinal symptom incidence in persons on the autism spectrum, although it did demonstrate higher constipation (33.9 percent compared to 17.6 percent ).

According to another research, roughly half of all children with autism had constipation. Many children with autism have severe or untreated constipation, which may lead to an urgent care or emergency room visit, although the total incidence of this problem is unknown.

Differences in Digestive Functions

There are variations in the digestive tracts of persons with autism and neurotypical people, according to some study. The kinds and amounts of gut bacteria in the microbiome, which may affect how food is absorbed, are among these distinctions.

Struggling to digest particular meals may cause physical pain in children with autism, leading to eating challenges and other behavioral disorders.

People with autism and nausea from digestive disorders, for example, were shown to be 11 percent more likely to behave violently in a research. When children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old had upper gastrointestinal difficulties, they were more likely to demonstrate aggressive behaviors, according to the research. Older children, between the ages of 6 and 18, on the other hand, were more prone to develop nervous and suffer from gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation.

Constipation in Children With Autism Can Be Improved 

There are various things you can do to help your autistic kid feel better if they experience constipation. The first step is to make dietary adjustments.

  • Increase their fiber intake, particularly via meals such as fresh fruits and vegetables.

  • Some stomach irritants, such as dairy items like milk or cheese, are in lower quantities.

  • Sugary meals and “vitamin-enriched” beverages should be avoided since they might aggravate constipation.

  • To keep hydrated, increase the amount of water and other liquids they consume.

  • If required, talk to your physician about taking a fiber supplement.

You may also make behavioral adjustments to help your child’s general health, which includes their digestive health.

  • Regular exercise improves the performance of several organ systems, including the digestive system. Children who exercise frequently will be hungrier, making it simpler to include healthier items into their diets that will benefit their digestive health. 

  • Find strategies to assist your kid realize that they should go to the bathroom as soon as they feel the desire as part of toilet training. Children with autism may need a set of rules or a regimen to keep them on track.

    Set aside time to go to the restroom a couple times a day. This may assist them in unwinding while on the toilet. By designating a set time for this exercise, your kid will learn to correlate bowel movements with feeling better, resulting in their holding feces less often.

  • Talk to your kid’s physician about how a prescription medication can help if your child develops improved eating habits and has excellent bathroom habits but still has constipation. These drugs are only used in the most severe situations of persistent constipation. It’s possible that treatment will last at least six months.

    Laxatives are the most common drug used to increase the frequency and quality of bowel movements. Even if they are over-the-counter medications, do not give your kid laxatives without first seeing their doctor.

Constipation is unpleasant for your kid, and since they can’t articulate what’s going on, particularly if they’re young, it may lead to greater behavioral issues. Your kid may overcome constipation with the correct medical attention before it becomes harmful.

Behavior therapy is the most prevalent technique to controlling autistic symptoms, and the skills learned in treatment may be applied to almost every aspect of a child’s life. Inform your ABA therapist if your kid is experiencing constipation. Because a child’s pain may have a significant impact on their behavior, the therapist or technician may adjust the treatment method in certain sessions to accommodate for it.


Constipation is a common issue for autistic children. Constipation can lead to malnutrition, dehydration, and other health problems. There are many ways to deal with constipation in autistic children. One way is to teach them how to deal with toxic people. Toxic people may not be intentionally trying to harm the child, but they may say things that upset or frustrate the child. This article will show you how to deal with and improve constipation in autistic children.

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