Peanut Allergies and Autism

Publish date:
Updated on

Hello Everyone, I'm the mother of a seven year old child with a severe peanut allergy and mild autism.When my son Matthew was one and a half years old, he had a severe reaction to peanut butter, thus came the peanut alergy.I would be interested to know if anyone else has a child with diagnosedn Autism and food allergy. Thanks Moni

On Jul 9, 2001

Hi Moni,

My children do not have autism, but my niece does. From what I've learned there seems to be a link between food allergies/intolerances and autism, although I've never seen anyone mention PA with autism.

My PA son is also allergic to corn and I've seen several parents of corn allergic children mention their child was misdiagnosed as autistic before their corn allergy was discovered. I believe that some food allergies don't cause the classic symptoms and are frequently misdiagnosed as anything from autism to ADHD to depression to psychosis. I know of one child who has tried to commit suicide as a reaction to one of his diagnosed food allergens.

I've also recently learned that some parents have helped their autistic children by eliminating wheat and milk from their diets. Do these children really have autism or just a food allergy or intolerance with autistic-like symptoms. Because my niece has a self limiting diet consisting almost exclusively of wheat and dairy I wonder if this might be the case with her...


On Jul 22, 2001

Allergies creating symptoms of autism are called cerebral allergies.......I read about a case involving a milk allergy.......however the child seemed to recover once the allergen was removed (it took a while though). This might help you find more information.

On Jul 25, 2001

My 27 month old PA son does not talk, and at times I wonder about a mild case of Autism. I brought him to the ENT to have his ears/hearing checked, but ther were fine. He also has terrible eczema. We go back to the allergist next month for more testing.

On Jul 26, 2001

susann, I know it is frustrating (to say the least) but some children just don't seem to see the *need* to talk until they are a lot older... I had a neice who was like this.... her sister talked a blue streak starting at a year old, but she said very little until she was nearly in kindergarten. She understood just fine, but didn't talk.... she even threw fits in her 2s and 3s when you couldn't figure out what she wanted, but she still wouldn't speak. They took her to several doctors, all of whom ran tests, but then just shrugged and said she would talk when she was good and ready. She amazed everyone by one day simply replying in complete sentences. (Hope this is the case with your little one,too) [img][/img]

On Nov 6, 2001

My 7 year old son has a peanut allergy. My 11 year old son has no food allergies but has an autism spectrum disorder called Asperger's Syndrome (similar to high functioning autism). My PA son definitely has some autistic tendancies (poor eye contact, stims) but I have never sought a diagnosis for him and he has improved significantly over the past year.

On Nov 28, 2001

My 2 year old son is PA and was recently given a tentative PDD diagnosis. He is substantially speech delayed and displays sensory integration issues as well as other autistic spectrum characteristics. In addition to home-based therapies he receives, he is going to start attending a school program for children with similar developmental delays. In my discussions with the director of this program, I was informed that the "overwhelming majority" of kids in this school had peanut allergies!! Is anyone else out there aware of this 'coincidence' and has any research been done on the correlation between food allergies and autistic spectrum disorders?

On Nov 29, 2001

I am having my PA son evaluted for autism. He was diagnosed with sensory intergration dysfunction. I have been reading lately abouth the mercury/thermisol connection in the vacines given. Some children are more sensitive to the mercury. Mercury poisoning and autism have alot of the same characteristics, including more allergies. So, I am having my two children tested for mecury.

On Dec 6, 2001


How do you test for Mercury poisoning? Assuming a positive result, what is the treatment/therapy -- and, more importantly, what is the prognosis? By the way, both my 2 year old PA son and my non-allergic 4 1/2 year old have been diagnosed with sensory integration dysfunction. They both receive occupational therapy, but I have not seen much improvement. Has anything helped your child?

On Dec 8, 2001


We have an appointment on the 17th to discuss mercury testing with a doctor. So, I will know more then. There is information on mercury-vaccine connection [url=""][/url] and there is an article by Dr Amy Holmes on the site. My son has been receiving OT since October. He is vocalizing more. I just had my 4 1/2 yr daughter evaluated by the school and they do not want to evaluate for Sensory Integration. They see it as a behavior problem and I need to see a behaviorist. But I see the behavior as an outcome of the sensory issues.

On Jan 18, 2002

I have never heard of a coorelation between peanut allergy and autism until now. Kate talked in complete sentences when she was 18 months old and is a straight A student. I will be interested to see what information you turn up on this subject. Good Luck

On Jan 20, 2002

Our daughter didn't really say any words until about the age of two. She had speech, sensory intigration, and physical therapy for a number of years, I am a believer of these therpies after I saw how they helped her.

There were initial concerns and diagnosis of autisim and later Asperger's Syndrome. She is now diagnosed with ADHD and OCD (not autism). She still has the autistic tendancies and behaviors.

Sue in Sunny Arizona

On Feb 3, 2002

I was hoping some of you would answer the question, what are some signs of autism? My daughter is a straight A student, but has a low tolerance to loud noises, but is getting better. She also seemed to have a low tolerance for a lot of stimulation therefore some central nevous system problem. She is very beligerant at the end of a high stimulation day. Are these any simptoms? Thanks!

On Feb 9, 2002

hi marcus here you mite find this site usefull as it explains some of the links to allergies and autism its work a look my son has ocd and is being tested for asbergs this site shows some links hope you find it usefull

On Feb 9, 2002

sorry i forgot the link here it is food and autism

On Feb 9, 2002

sorry i forgot the link here it is food and autism [url=""][/url]

On Feb 9, 2002

sorry about this new to computers this is the site [url="http://www.kessick"]http://www.kessick[/url]

On Feb 9, 2002

sue your daughter sounds like my son dus she wash her hands alott get angery and dus not acpeted cuddles well keeps thing clean tidy ato the exstream it drives you mad i wauld like to hear more how it affects her as my son has ocd did she have big reaction and the ocd started from then as my sons did best wishes marcus keep ya chin up

On Feb 19, 2002

Wow! I am just blown away by all your comments. I have just gotten back from a study clinic, and was told that my 5 year old peanut allergic son has autistic tendencies and will be tested for this along with other developmental disorders. We have known there was a problem since age 2, but could not get any of our pediatricians to react. I finally took matters in my own hands and made the appointment with our local child study clinic. I got on the Internet tonight to start researching autism, and I immediately found information linking food allergies and autoimmune deficiencies to autism. I haven't been on the Peanut Alergy.Com site in a while so i decided to log on and do a search on autism and found these comments.

Does anyone have any tips or good news cocerning the outlook for autistic children? obviously, I am crushed right now to think that my darling Matthew may not go on to have a normal functioning adult life. As if having an anyphylactic peanut allergy was't enough, now he is faced with this. Life just seems so cruel sometimes.

Thanks for listening. I need to make contact with parents who are experiencing the same overwhelming issues that I am.

On Feb 25, 2002

I know someone above mentioned mercury & vaccines in regard to autism. I've delayed getting the mmr shot for my son. He'll soon turn two and I've been planning on having him get it at his dr. appt. Does anyone have any strong feelings about this one-way or the other. One reason I didn't get it at 1 yr. was because he'd had his first (and only so far) pn reaction just a month before. Since then I've slowed down the immunization process to just one shot per visit to give his immune system time to grow. He's never had any reaction to vaccines, except a mild fever two days after one of the prevnar shots. That's it. He's been so healthy. One ear infection so only one round of antibiotics. So I guess what I'm getting at is: are your cases of autism related to pa/other food allergies or vaccinations or just don't know. He's such a bright child. I don't want anything to happen to him because of a decision I make.

On Feb 25, 2002

Hi everyone!

Thanks Marcus for the link. I too think my daughter has mild autistic tendencies, not a cuddler, sensitive to noise and light, was a real screamer as an infant. She was late to talk and high strung nerves.

She is now 8 and thriving in school, her speech took off at 3, she is a voracious reader and writer. No school problems. She is not the most popular kid in class, kind of shy. But does have one or two close friends. She just had surgery for severe toe walking which is an autistic tendency. She has never been diagnosed and I don't know if I would want her to be. She has enough self esteem issues with her surger, scars from it and from her anaphylaxis. She has been great through all of it, but she does not need to feel any more different. She does not have any educational problems and is at the top of her class. What do you guys think? Do you think there is any reason to take her for observation? Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks! By the way keep your chins up, your kids are extraordinary because you all are extraordinary parents for educating yourselves about all of this and keeping them safe and healthy.


On Feb 26, 2002

dhumphries: I do not have first hand experience with autism, but I have triplet boys and I have come across many parents in the triplet community that have dealt with autism. One support group they mention is OASIS (it is support for Aspergers...which I believe, is high functioning autism).

The link is [url=""][/url]

Hopefully you can find some support and information on this site.



On Feb 26, 2002

As an OT who works in the public school system in the state of Washington, I would like to address briefly the issue of sensory integration dysfunction. It is a little understood disorder that significantly impacts a child in a variety of ways. It can look like a behavior problem, since children become overwhelmed and can "shut down" or "zone out." These same children may on another occasion spin up and be like a "wild child". I am most frustrated because the state of Washington does not recognize SID as a "qualifying diagnosis that can negatively impact a child's school perfomance" and therefore, I am unable to treat a child without another catagory to put him or her into. Fortunately some of the children HAVE other catagories, and I can work to improve their overall ability to function in the school environment by addressing their SID, and they are then able to learn more. Some of the features of autism look like SID, and certainly people with autism have sensory processing disfunctions. It is all thoughly entwined.

My own ds has a mild degree of SID because he had so many times of poor hearing related to his frequent ear infections. He is easily overstim'd, he is unable to differeniate noises and where they are coming from, he has a hard time hearing the teacher if she does not use a sound field system, etc. We play a lot to address his SID, and he is managing OK in kindergarten this year. It would not be as smooth sailing for him without all the extra attention and understanding, I'm sure. There are many web sites with information on SID, and you may be interested in looking at some of the information. Good luck, and if you have questions, please feel free to e-mail me. Kristi

On Feb 27, 2002

I've actually done a lot of research in the area of autism and food allergies, including getting a copy of a report via the FOI act that documents a meeting of a government group to discuss Wakefield's research and the correlation between the MMR and various developmental delays.

I haven't drawn any conclusions yet but I do not believe there's a grand conspiracy. While I respect Wakefield's zealousness, there are problems with his link between the measles component of the MMR and autism. However, I think it's very intriguing that these two conditions do appear to have in common an overly-permeable gut combined with an immune reaction, resulting in either food allergies or autism. Most researchers believe that autism is genetic and determined at birth but I'm not convinced that there's not an environmental cause, or at least a significant environmental trigger. Besides, the propensity for a "leaky gut" could be inherited (thus the genetic link) but not manifest in outright autism if these kids could be screened at birth.

Someone posted a study a while back about children whose IgE levels were screened at birth, and were later correlated with autoimmune disorders. It would be very interesting to see if there was any elevated level of autism in those children.

Sorry this is rambling so much - I find this topic very interesting but have too much to say in too short a time! [img][/img]

[This message has been edited by booandbrimom (edited February 27, 2002).]