Most, if not all, parents with an autistic child will agree that these children have co-morbid health problems. Recent large-scale studies have found that medical conditions in individuals with autism were higher than expected. Detailed clinical studies done in the US, Europe and Asia confirmed that co-morbidities like eczema, allergies, asthma, headaches/migraines, seizures and gastrointestinal issues were highly prevalent compared to the normal population.
In a consensus report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, they specifically state that “Care providers should be aware that problem behavior in patients with ASD may be the primary or sole symptom of the underlying medical condition, including some gastrointestinal disorders.” (Buie et all.,2010). This means that behaviors typically seen in the autism population are physical in origin, can be identified with proper testing and treatable/manageable through medical care. These studies made it clear that each child with autism should undergo extensive medical assessment. Their quality of life depends upon it.
In addition to the health issues mentioned above, I have provided additional co-morbid conditions that many children are being diagnosed with, including mitochondrial disorder and Lyme disease.
For more information on co-morbidity in autism please read this article.
Information from the National Autism Association.