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Table 1 Behaviors assessed by ABQ as possible markers of abdominal discomfort in individuals with ASD

From: Vocal and motor behaviors as a possible expression of gastrointestinal problems in preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder




Frequent clearing of throat

Facial grimacing

Sleep disturbances (difficulty getting to sleep, difficulty staying asleep)

Swallowing and/or tics

Gritting teeth

Increased irritability (exaggerated responses to stimuli)



Non-compliance with demands that typically elicit an appropriate response

Sobbing for no reason at all

Constant eating/drinking/swallowing


Sighing and/or whining

Mouthing behaviors as chewing on clothes, pica


Moaning and/or groaning

Application of pressure to abdomen


Delayed echolalia that includes reference to pain or stomach and direct verbalizations about it

Tapping behaviors


Any unusual posturing


Agitation as jumping up and down


Unexplained increase in repetitive behaviors


Self-injurious behaviors


Aggressive behaviors: onset of or increase

  1. Abbreviations: VB Verbal behaviors, MB Motor behaviors, C Changes in overall state