We know that a big issue in Autism is a problem with bowel function. I consider this almost a universal problem, affecting small children, older children and teenagers alike. These problems can have many different causes. Some children have a hard time with feeling the sensation of needing to have a bowel movement. Other children have inflammatory bowel problems which we know is a big issue. And on the flip side, your child can have severe constipation with many behavioural issues stemming from that.
I want to address the issue of posturing, which is when a child uses an edge of furniture to leverage against to find abdominal relief. They can use the edge of a couch, chair, even a coffee table for several minutes in an effort to find a comfortable position. This is very different from normal childhood behaviour where children lean against furniture for a couple of seconds and then stop. Posturing is a possible sign of underlying bowel problems.
Constipation causes pain and cramping from the build up of stool. Posturing can be one way a child finds relief. They can leverage themselves against the furniture since they usually dont have enough hand or arm strength to push hard enough on their abdomen. Posturing can also provide some relief of small bowel inflammation as well. As such, recognising that this behaviour can be indicative of a potential medical problem and seeking medical attention is important.
A simple way to find out how much stool your child has stored in their bowel is to ask their pediatrician or family doctor to do an abdominal x-ray. Even with daily bowel movements, your child could still have a lot of stool that needs to come out. Having an abdominal x-ray is an easy way to see what is going on.
So an indication of underlying bowel problems can be posturing. If your child is laying on the edges of couches, chairs, tables, even laying and rolling on the floor to put pressure on the abdomen can indicate a bowel issue that should be addressed by a doctor. There are many remedies for constipation, one is magnesium as well as other laxatives that can help. For diarrhea, you may need a stool test to check for infection or the problem could be from inflammation. So posturing can be a very important clue as to bowel issues in Autism.