From Science Daily:

Parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) face severe challenges in accessing adequate services, according to a survey of hundreds of parents in the United Kingdom.

Just 11 per cent of parents felt that the NHS professionals they encountered understood their concerns about the behaviour and healthcare challenges of their child. The majority, 70 per cent, felt that their child’s symptoms were attributed to ASD and seen as something to “get on with,” rather than being worthy of further investigation and treatment.

Respondents to the survey identified diet and nutrition issues as a major cause for concern, yet just one per cent of parents were able to access services in this area and have their problem resolved. The vast majority, 77 per cent, did not. This is despite the fact that many parents reported health and behavioural progress in their child following dietary changes. Similar patterns were identified in relation to services for gut problems, behavioural challenges, sleep difficulties, and toileting issues.

One parent said: “My son has had multiple physical problems: chronic constipation, self-harming, food intolerances, epilepsy. Yet it is only the epilepsy which has been taken seriously (although the treatment has been ineffective to date). All his other issues have been dismissed as ‘just autism’ and there has been a reluctance to offer any kind of investigation or treatment.”

The survey, carried out by the charity Treating Autism during 2014, forms the basis of a report, authored by Professor Jane Wills, based at the School of Geography,…

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