Autism and Constipation

autism-constipation-toileting-training

Autism Constipation

Autism and constipation is a topic that has come up regularly when I deliver training on Autism and toileting. Whether delivering training to parents or professionals it is consistently a topic that comes up during the question and answers.

What I realised through my own research and from speaking directly to community members who support Autistic individuals whether personally or professionally is that many do not recognise constipation and have an assumed understanding of what it typically looks like.

autism toilet training

I plan to write a series of posts on this topic but to begin with I have decided to focus on The Bristol Stool Chart and a Poo Diary. In upcoming posts I will focus specifically on Autism constipation.

If you are concerned that your child may be constipated always consult your medical health professional for medical advice on how to support your child.

The Bristol Stool Chart

autism bristol poo chart

The Bristol Stool Chart is used to describe the shapes and types of poo (stools). It can be used as a research tool to evaluate the effectiveness of treatments for diseases of the bowel and it is often also used as a tool to diagnose constipation, diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome.

In the context of this article we are looking at the Bristol Stool Chart as a tool to identify the shape and type of poo our children are passing.

The Bristol Stool Chart can support us in conjunction with a poo diary to have information readily available regarding our children’s bowel movement (type/consistency and frequency) that we can use to provide a medical health professional with an accurate account of our children’s bowel movement.

autism-toilet-training

Generally poo type 4 is the type of bowel movements we want to see occurring for our children. However always remember every child’s bowel movement is individual to them and what may be a non-constipated poo for one child, may look different for another child.

If you are concerned that your child may be constipated always consult your medical health professional for medical advice on how to support your child.

You can download a FREE Bristol Stool Chart PDF file.

The Poo Diary

autism-poo-diary

Constipation in Autistic children can be treated and children can become continent. It is important to monitor their bowel movements regularly as constipation can easily reoccur. It can help to keep a monitoring record using a Poo Diary.

You can download your FREE Poo Diary PDF here.

Use the Poo Diary in conjunction with the Bristol Stool Chart to support you when preparing information on your child’s bowel movements for your medical health professional.

DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

References:

  • Heaton, K W & Lewis, S J 1997, ‘Stool form scale as a useful guide to intestinal transit time’. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, vol.32, no.9, pp.920 – 924.
  • Maslen C, Hodge R, Tie K, Laugharne R, Lamb K, Shankar R. Constipation in autistic people and people with learning disabilities. Br J Gen Pract. 2022 Jun 30;72(720):348-351.

doi: 10.3399/bjgp22X720077. PMID: 35772989; PMCID: PMC9256070

  • Harvey S, Matthai S, King DA – How to use the Bristol Stool Chart in childhood constipation –Archives of Disease in Childhood – Education and Practice 2023;108:335-339.

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