Recognizing Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Your Child with Autism or ADHD

Let’s focus on Gastrointestinal (GI) health. You might be asking yourself why? Because once your child’s GI health is addressed, their symptoms can dramatically improve (symptoms like behaviour challenges, focus and concentration, speech, and more).

As a parent, you may be in one of three categories: 1. You already know your child has food sensitivities and GI issues; 2. You have no clue and have never thought of this for your child, or 3. You’ve heard about GI issues before but don’t make the connection with your child and their symptoms. Today, our topic will be especially enlightening for  those parents in the latter two categories. So if that’s where you’ve placed yourself, listen carefully. Some signs and symptoms that you can watch for to tell whether your child is experiencing GI-related issues and/or food sensitivities are:

  1. Complaints of stomach pain/upset, bloating, diarrhea or constipation
  2. Your child is a picky eater and refuses to try new foods
  3. They experience behavioural outbursts in the form of aggression, hyperactivity, or self-harm
  4. They have trouble focusing on tasks
  5. They have skin/hair conditions such as eczema, rashes, very thin/fine hair
  6. Their body type is slight in build, and smaller than an average child or another one of your other children
  7. Complaints of being tired
  8. Dark circles under their eyes (also known as allergic shiners)
  9. They often chew/suck on their clothes, skin or an object of some kind

Now these aren’t all the symptoms a child can experience, but they are the more obvious ones that you can actually see with your own eyes. Of course they don’t need to have all of the above mentioned symptoms, even just one of these symptoms is enough to indicate that your child may have a GI issue, or food sensitivity of some kind. If you see one or more of these in your child, or intuitively, if you feel your child fits into any of these categories, then GI issues may need to be addressed.

If challenging behaviour is one of your child’s symptoms, a very simple place you can start with, is to keep track of what your child eats and track their behaviour after the food they’ve eaten. You can use the template I provide through my online workshop (once you sign up for the free online workshop, you’ll receive a Meal and Behaviour Tracker in your email).  Then, note whether your child’s behaviour changes with different foods/drinks they consume. I partnered with 2 holistic nutritionists who are helping kids with their eating habits after discovering they have food sensitivities or are picky eaters – , who also helped create the template I will provide for you.

Some less obvious symptoms that your child with autism or ADHD may be experiencing are:

  1. Nutrient deficiencies (which can also show up as your child chews or sucks on things, tiredness, or not having enough energy to do the things they want to);
  2. Poor nutrient absorption (which means they are not absorbing nutrients from the foods they are eating – can show up as fatigue, allergies, slight body size, thinning hair, more brittle nails);
  3. A build-up of toxins in their body from eating too many processed foods (which can show up as rashes/eczema and fatigue);
  4. Taste perception changes, especially if they are deficient in minerals such as Zinc;
  5. Chronic inflammation in the gut (which long-term can lead to auto-immune diseases, Chron’s disease and others);
  6. Further food sensitivities that you just aren’t aware of (even if your child is already on a gluten and dairy free diet).

I share this information with you today because I want you to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms that your child may be experiencing, and then do something about it. Remember that up to 50-85% of kids with autism have GI issues, and a very large percent of kids with ADHD also have chronic constipation, which can lead to other GI challenges.

If you have recognized even one of these symptoms in your child after reading this blog, or if you take this information away and then notice something in your child, then feel empowered because you can actually do something to help them! From the most basic intervention, which is you monitoring what your child eats and documenting their behaviour over a time period of a few days or weeks, then eliminating the foods that you feel exacerbate their symptoms. To a more comprehensive intervention, which would mean you contact a health professional or an alternative health practitioner that can help you to check for your child’s food sensitivities, then you can eliminate them all. Once you remove the food intolerances, then you can start to replenish the nutrient deficiencies (which can also be assessed by your health practitioner). It doesn’t need to be overwhelming….keep thinking of the end result- your child is in a better mood, experiences less symptoms, and you have the pleasure of watching your child thrive without all the challenging symptoms they have experienced in the past. Trust me – both your life and your child’s life will be improved immensely!

Also, I want to mention that if you’re thinking it would be difficult to get your child’s blood taken to check for nutrient deficiencies or your child’s skin scratched for numerous allergies/food intolerances, be aware that there are non-invasive energetic techniques that can provide similar results without the invasiveness of the more traditional methods.

My name is Tina Bishai. I’m a mother of two beautiful children and I am also a health professional. I have Bachelors Degrees in Human Biology and Physical Therapy, as well as a Masters Degree in Business Administration. After working in the corporate world for over 20 years, I began following my heart and studied alternative medicine, after which time I became a Reiki Master and Shaman.

As the founder of Golden Healings, now my mission is to help children living with autism and ADHD address problematic symptoms they may be experiencing through a holistic approach, addressing all elements that impact a child’s well-being – emotional, physical and energetic elements.

My goal is to see each and every child have the ability to authentically connect with others in this world, without having to deal with the myriad of symptoms they may be struggling with on a daily basis. I believe that children with autism and ADHD are unique and beautiful gifts who have the ability to function at a level they have not necessarily achieved before. I have seen such positive transformations with children’s symptoms, and I invite you to visit my free online workshop where you can learn about the three main influencers to your child’s symptoms and behavioural challenges. I have healed my own child and others with this methodology. Please visit, and provide your name and email address for instant access to the workshop.

If there are specific topics you would like me to address in my blogs, please email me at and I would be happy to write about them.

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