The primary purpose of this research is to determine if there is an association between Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. Literature suggests frustrations with misunderstandings between caregivers and clinicians about this problem. If a correlation is identified this information could assist caregivers of children with ASD to talk with clinicians about GI problems. Radian 6 software will be used to analyze target words from social media posts. Using this method, the research team can collect descriptions from social media of the "lived experience" of persons with ASD and their caregivers. Data will be collected for 2 weeks, threads will be identified that contain words related to ASD and gastrointestinal disorders, data will be cleaned using NVIVO software, and word clouds of most frequently used descriptors will be created. Word clouds contain the most popular words that appear in search threads on Radian 6. The word cloud can show that gastrointestinal symptoms are a measureable concern of caregivers and individuals with ASD. This research was supported by the Calhoun Honors College and Creative Inquiry program.
McMillion, Erika; Chassevent, Anna; and Eggert, Julie, "Use of Social Media as a Tool to Identify Symptom Needs in Children with Autism" (2015). Focus on Creative Inquiry. 99.