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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:07 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:47 pm
Posts: 58
Hello there,

I've heard that there is a link between food allergies and autism. Our son (2 1/2) is anaphylacitc to milk, wheat, eggs, soy, peas, peanuts and treenuts (that we know of so far), AND has several environmental allergies. Because of all these allergies, he pretty much lives in a bubble. He seems to be anti-social at times, but we've been thinking that it's because he doesn't get a whole lot of practice being around new people (due to the severity of his allergies). His Dr. hasn't mentioned anything about autism to us, but in light of this new info we've received, we're a bit concerned ...

What are your "social" experiences with young children who live in a bubble?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 5:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Do you have any reason to be concerned with autusm? I heard of the link between food allergies and ADD/ADHD and autism before. I had looked into what it was about and it seemed to suggest that consuming allergenic foods (whether undiagnosed allergies or in small doses that do not cause major obvious anaphylactic symptoms) can cause a "mental fog", head aches, etc. and then cause the child to have "abnormal" behaviors.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 5:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
hi panacea,
I'd say that if you suspect that your son is very shy because of 'living in a bubble' that might just be shyness and not autism. but you might want to have your son tested for autism if you suspect something----that way he could get help with school and with social development. there are different forms of autism--i don't know a whole lot about it, but a friend of mine has a boy with Aspberger's (might be spelled wrong) which is a mild form of autism.

One of my sisters was very shy + sensitive + when she was small she did *not* want to go outside in the summer probably because the heat would make her eczema flare up + because all the environmental allergies made her miserable. All the teasing at school (about eczema mostly, but sometimes about PA) didn't help. Things improved *a lot* in highschool and university for her!


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 Post subject: autism
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 1:30 pm
Posts: 134
I work with special needs preschoolers. There is a theory that some little ones with autism react to casien and gluten and some parents have choosen to eliminate these from their diets but I don't believe that it is considered to be a true allergy. My son is also ana to multiple foods but we try really hard to have him have typical social encounters with other kids. If you are really concerned about the possibility of autism talk wiht your doctor or go online and find something called the MCHAT it is an autism screening tool.
Good Luck
Stephanie


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 687
Location: Cobourg, ON
It must be very difficult living with so many allergies. When my daughter was first diagnosed we went into bubble mode for awhile with her multiple food allergies. It was particularly difficult through the teething stages to go anywhere because she would put everything into her mouth. That stage is a nightmare for parents with allergic children.

As my daughter grew older we realized that we had to start participating in more activities and to take little leaps of faith to allow her to develop socially. We would invite young friends into our house for play dates and we checked out community programs which would be safe. We also enrolled her in a nursery school for one morning a week, even though I was home, to allow her to play with groups of children.

When we are at a family gathering or an activity which involves food we always bring her own food of course and I bring a safe dish for everyone to enjoy. That way, she sees some of her food on other peoples' plates. We really try to make the social aspect the focus of gatherings and not dwell on the food issues with her. We want her to enjoy the people and experience of being together and not feel bad that she can't eat the same thing as everyone else. We usually end up hosting many family and friend gatherings.

At times, my instinct wants to protect my daughter and limit her activities just in case... But then I think what kind of life will she have if I keep her in a bubble. With careful planning and close supervision she participates in gymnastics and all winter we went skating at the local arena. She also attends JK this year. We have signed up for soccer this summer. I know that they eat snacks at "half time" but I will bring her own and bring wipes for all of her team to clean hands after.

I think all kids can be "anti social" at times and shy and hesitant to participate in play especially at such a young age. Maybe with more social interaction, he will feel more comfortable with other children. Is he an only child? That can make a difference too.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:47 pm
Posts: 58
Hi there,

Thanks for all your replies. I found a program at our local community centre that allows a caregiver to attend with the kids, and I've talked to those involved and informed them of DS's allergies. Tomorrow will be his first time participating with a group of his peers in a structured environment. I guess I'll see how he does, and then go from there.

I did find a bunch of autism checklists on the web and because he's never really been around a lot of peers, it's difficult for me to determine if he will have a hard time developing appropriate peer relations.

Wish us luck!!

Thanks again for all your responses and support. No matter what we discover, he will always be our soul mate. :D


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