Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) that is generally manifested in the first 3 years of life and characterized by dysfunction in social interaction and communication. Any person whose social skills have been severely deficient since early childhood, who started to talk late, or whose communicative use of language is inadequate and who engages in restricted repetitive and stereotypic behaviors meets the diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder. There are 5 classifications of PDDs, including:

The etiology of autism is unknown. As such, conjecture and scientific inquiry into the cause are open to speculation. Although not included in the diagnostic criteria, there have been many reports describing gastrointestinal symptoms in 9% to 84% of children with autism.2–7  Indeed, Asperger himself suggested a possible link to celiac disease and autism in 1961. Goodwin et al noted malabsorption in autistic children in 1971,...

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