Autism and the Immune System: Why Don't They Always Listen to the Moms?

Posted by: , January 26, 2011 in 12:19 pm

stark. raving. mad. mommy._ As Seen On-1Yesterday, some news broke about research results showing a link between autism and immune system function.  Here’s the article, from the University of South Florida’s Rashid Laboratory for Developmental Neurobiology. When it was first suggested that Little Dude should be evaluated for autism, I retreated to total denial reached out to my friends who have autistic kids.

Some of these moms were moms I had originally connected with because their kids had so many food allergies, something all four of my kids had struggled with.  (See my DNA Double Helix of Crap for more on that.)

When I started sending e-mails out, I realized that all my autism mommy friends were also my allergy mommy friends.  Now, not all my friends with allergic kids have autistic kids, obviously.  But I think that all my friends with autistic kids have allergy kids. Some may have a handful of allergies, and some have extremely restricted diets.

I emailed Little Dude’s pediatric allergist, and asked him what the f**k was up with that if there was any research on a link between allergies and autism, and if not, could he please get on that. He replied right away, because he’s awesome like that, even though he’s the chairautism Autism and the Immune System: Why Don't They Always Listen to the Moms? of one of the top pediatric allergy departments in the country.  He said that although they see a lot of autistic kids with allergies, there wasn’t any scientific evidence of a link, or one causing the other.

I did conduct a completely unscientific poll, which showed that a full 70 percent of my readers’ kids with autism had food, medicine, or environmental allergies.  Most had a combination of those.

Yesterday I emailed him the study from USF. His response this time was something along the lines of “I know, I know, we’re trying to get research funding right now.”  Which probably translates to “Of course I read that, you crazy lady, now leave me alone so I can get back to helping kids.”

This study out of USF is amazing. To me, it’s the most important, and most helpful, autism research to come out in ages. It offers the possibility of actually answering a lot of questions about autism, and it offers the possibility of a blood test for autism.

I wrote more about my view on this research for StrollerDerby today, hopefully bringing more awareness to the mainstream about why this kind of research is so valuable to families like ours.  You might want to check it out, because it has stuff like this:

happyfriends Autism and the Immune System: Why Don't They Always Listen to the Moms?
My crappy DNA, personified: See how the asthma guy is gasping for breath?
And the autism guy
is actually looking away from the camera?
It’s uncanny, I tell you.
(Original Image by StockPhoto; Added Nonsense by me.)


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