Autism Spectrum Disorders and Allergy: Observation from a Pediatric Allergy/immunology Clinic

Harumi Jyonouchi


Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2010;6(3):397-411. 

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Expert Commentary

It is our clinic's experience that ASD children tend to be underdiagnosed and undertreated for common chronic medical conditions such as allergic disorders. This may be partly attributed to the difficulty in diagnosis due to their limited expressive language and behavioral symptoms such as aggression. We have found that treatment of common childhood illnesses, including allergic diseases, significantly improved behavioral symptoms and subsequent cognitive development. This may not be surprising considering the effects of allergic diseases and other disorders on neuropsychiatric symptoms/conditions documented in the general population. Practicing physicians should make themselves well aware of the possible effects of pain and discomfort caused by chronic illness on behavioral symptoms in ASD children. This will probably facilitate timely diagnosis and proper treatment of underlying medical conditions. On the other hand, all too frequently, many symptoms and clinical features not associated with IgE-mediated immune responses are attributed to 'allergy', prompting unnecessary allergy workups that may cause stress or anxiety in these ASD children. Proper evaluation of allergic versus nonallergic conditions in ASD children is important for optimal development. It is extremely important for both the parents and treating physician to be aware of these issues to avoid both unnecessary workups, and/or underdiagnosis or treatment.


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