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Language Delay Connection?
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4 posts in this topic

Hi everyone!

I am newly diagnosed and I'm wondering what to do about my kids. Neither has any symptoms. My daughter who is 21mths is low on the weight chart (3rd percentile) and is speech delayed. Do any of you know if there is a connection between language delay and celiac disease?

Alison

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Hello, and welcome!

I don't think that there is yet much substantiated research on this topic. There does seem to be some anecdotal evidence that SOME children (not all, by any means) do have such problems. You could check out the "Success Stories" at www.gfcfdiet.com. This site specifically addresses children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, but slow acquisition or loss of speech is one of the "symptoms" of autism.

The University of New York at Rochester is currently engaged in scholarly research on this topic (ie, whether a gluten-free, casien-free (the protein in milk) diet helps autistic children). (Doggone it! They took my Doctorate research idea away from me!) I think they've just barely started their study, though, so they may not be able to give you much more "substantiated" information than the gfcfdiet site.

Hope this information is helpful (even if it doesn't apply "completely" to your daughter's situation).

Beyond the speech delay information, though, gettting your children tested is a good idea. Research (someone correct me if I've got the numbers wrong) has shown that your children have about a 1 in 10 chance of having this disease because they've got a first degree relative (mom or dad) who has it. They probably should have their blood work done once every couple of years (if it comes back negative, that is), because celiac can be triggered later in life. (Great emotional, mental, or physical stress seems to make it "kick in" for some people.) And your daughter's low place on the growth charts could easily be an indication that she's got problems with gluten.

Good luck!

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Hi everyone!

I am newly diagnosed and I'm wondering what to do about my kids. Neither has any symptoms. My daughter who is 21mths is low on the weight chart (3rd percentile) and is speech delayed. Do any of you know if there is a connection between language delay and celiac disease?

Alison

Alison; Do not have specific info for you but does sound like a possibility. I am a great grandma and we have 2 of them in same family who I am wondering about but not that specific a reason to suggest tests for them. I am sure there will be someone on who will have a better answer for you. :) Hang in there, you will find scads of help on this forum, I hope you are doing alright yourself. It is so typical that you have learned things about yourself and now are wondering about your dd. I have done the same, 1 of our three grown dd's has gotten tested and came out with a no amswer, the other 2 tell me they plan that too. wish you well, I have gotten a lot of good help here since mid Feb,06. evie :)

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I'm actually curious about this as well. I'm still in the process of determining whether or not gluten is my issue (awaiting EnteroLab results) but I know that celiac can trigger neurological problems in some, and all 3 of my boys have neurological differences.

My oldest and middle child have had constipation/diarrhea issues, which I had at the time thought was behavioral (one is asperger's, one is OCD and tourette's) and my youngest (just 2) has had diarrhea on and off (noticed more with potty training) and he has a speech delay that we are finding out is neurologically based.

However, all my children are healthy weights. The first was 35 lbs at 18 mos, and at 12 is now about 120. My middle son is a smaller build, but he is not skinny. The little one is 2 3/4, and is probably over 40 lbs at this point. All 3 of them are tall, according to the "charts."

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    • I figured I would update those who were wondering.  I have gotten the appt. so far moved up to August 30. I am waiting to have gene testing done via swab for all 3 of my kiddos tomorrow. My daughters celiac antibodies came up negative but her IgA is low which the ped said could cause false negative antibodies for celiac so she will need to see a GI dr. also. The pediatrician is going to call the GI to try to get them in sooner. I am keeping them all on a gluten diet until the GI dr. decides what to do. I am on the cancellation list already for my son, however I am not going to be persistent with my phone calls to them until I have the results of the gene test. I really want that result in my hand before going to the GI dr if I can. Maybe if he is positive, along with his bloodwork and my history they can forgo the endoscopy. But he will eat gluten till then.  My husband and I have been very honest and upfront with him as to what is going on and the possibility of the endoscopy and what that entails and although scared in general he seems ok after assuring him that since I have it he has me to help him every step of the way.  Going through his current diet with him I realized that he is truly on such a low gluten diet that I am actually surprised his bloodwork shows antibodies at all!  So I told him to make a list of allllll the gluten he could possibly think of eating and he needs to pound it until the GI visit or endoscopy. Funny thing is everything he keeps thinking of to want to eat...is already gluten free!  The other night we were at a friends and he asked if he could be done with his hotdog. I made him finish just the bread 😂 Thanks for your help and advise and I will keep y'all posted on both kids!  My oldest is a ok as far as all his antibodies. Just actually had a follow up for other immune issues and all his levels are now normal!
    • I like your plan Cara, I may have to include it in my sons.    Poor little guy is still very very sick. I think he is resisting and cheating, despite having the support of two other siblings and a 100% gluten-free home. 
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    • Knowing that the reaction to gluten in celiacs is an uncalled for immune system reaction, I was thinking of how a cure would be possible. Maybe a medicine that somehow turns off the immune system. The only thing that i've heard do that... HIV.  obviously that's way worse than celiac. Just some food for thought.
    • Well, you can probably get an apple or something.  You might be able to get someone to boil you some eggs.  But be careful of things like nuts that should be naturally gluten free.  They have almost always been soaked in a flavor solution that usually containes caramel coloring, "soy" (wheat) sauce and other aditives.  If I am really hungry and must eat in a Chinese restaurant, I order plain white rice and steamed vegetables.  But even so, you must monitor it carefully.  The rice sometimes has other substances added to give it a better texture, and very often the vegetables have in fact had "just a little bit" of soy sauce added.  To be fair, celiac disease is hardly ever found in East Asians, so understandably people are not tuned it to it.  Also, culturally, with the exception of fruits, it is generally thought that the flavor of foods needs to be enhanced, so it is had to find anything natural even in the "western" gorceries. Even in the western restaurants, be careful.  Fish and meat and often vegetables are usually pre-marinated. I will not even attempt to address the issue of cross-comtamination, since that is a whole higher order of things. I do know what I am talking about; I have celiac and have worked here for nearly 7 years.  
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