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May 6, 2002

Behavior

Question from Essex, England:

Our five year old son, diagnosed with diabetes at the age of two, also has learning difficulties with autistic tendencies although professionals have not yet confirmed autism. Are there any links between autism and diabetes? Are there any diets we can use? We've heard of the gluten free and casein free diets, but our son obviously cannot go onto these diets because he needs his carbohydrates. Do you know of any other diets for children with autism and diabetes to improve his concentration and mood swings?

Answer:

I have not been able to find any figures for the incidence in childhood of type 1 diabetes and autism nor am I aware of any particular association between the two syndromes, even though some reports have shown a significant increase in the incidence of autoimmune disorders in the families of children with autism.

No diet has ever been found to be useful to patients with autism. A gluten free diet is only applied to children with celiac disease.

MS