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Celiac And Learning Disability Symptoms
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Hi! My son was diagnosed with celiac and lactose intolerance a month and a half ago. He is doing well on the diet. I am wondering if there is any connection between kids with celiac and learning disabilities. My son's teacher thinks he should be tested as he has difficulty retaining information. He does not seem to have any attention or behavior problems. He is seven years old. I appreciate any info anyone might have.

Thanks in advance.

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Hi! My son was diagnosed with celiac and lactose intolerance a month and a half ago. He is doing well on the diet. I am wondering if there is any connection between kids with celiac and learning disabilities. My son's teacher thinks he should be tested as he has difficulty retaining information. He does not seem to have any attention or behavior problems. He is seven years old. I appreciate any info anyone might have.

Thanks in advance.

I'm an elementary teacher. I've never read anything connecting learning disabilities and celiac disease. But a lot of people on this forum mention feeling fuzzy headed when they eat gluten. It can also cause fatigue, depression, anxiety, sleep problems, etc. I don't know what your son's symptoms were before he went on the diet, but I would think that spending kindergarten and first grade feeling lousy--even just frequent stomach aches or diarrhea--might have slowed his learning down a bit. Of course, now that he is on the diet and feeling better perhaps he'll be able to retain information better and catch up?

Good luck. It sounds as if you at least have a nice concerned teacher.

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as a parent I could see how a sick child would have a hard time with school.

I would first attribute all of his issues with Celiacs and go from there.

If after 6-12 months of being gluten free he is still having problems then I would look into further options.

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My daughter is almost 7, and she has learning difficulties as well. Retaining information is a biggie for her, she still can't remember her birthday, address, or phone number. Two years ago we had her evaluated by a developmental pediatrician, and they found she was very far behind in her receptive/expressive language. We did private speech therapy for one summer, and now she is in speech therapy at school twice a week.

The one thing she picked up very quickly was reading....she reads great, but she can't retell the story she just read. First grade is proving to be a bit difficult for her, especially math. I'm learning math is difficult for kids with language issues. She's also still behind her peers socially, she loves other kids, but only if they are younger than her.

So, at least in our case, I think being sick for so long definately impacted my dd's neurological development. She has been gluten free for 4 years now, but I think she'll always have learning disabilities. Therapy has definately helped though, so you may look into getting your son evaluated to see if there is an issue. Hope that helps!

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Hi! My son was diagnosed with celiac and lactose intolerance a month and a half ago. He is doing well on the diet. I am wondering if there is any connection between kids with celiac and learning disabilities. My son's teacher thinks he should be tested as he has difficulty retaining information. He does not seem to have any attention or behavior problems. He is seven years old. I appreciate any info anyone might have.

Thanks in advance.

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For susceptible people, gluten injures the small intestinal lining (called

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My son's pediatrician mentioned to us that there is a connection. She asked us if we had noticed a difference and we have noticed a big one. He has just gotten over an accidental glutening and it reminded me of what things were like before. He couldn't remember anything, would forget to bring homework home, wouldn't write it in his planner, wouldn't remember to go to his instrumental lessons, would do the homework, but then forget to hand it in. The teachers would give me such a hard time. He is 11 now and was diagnosed at 10. I would say that it took several months to see an improvement in how he handles school, but he is SO MUCH better now. I hope your son improves too. Maybe you should explain the connection to the teacher and wait a few months before having him tested. He may improve on his own.

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Thanks to all who have responded. I think we will have my son tested to make sure we are not missing something, but it seems this could be celiac related. Again thanks for the info.

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My son did not have learning disabilities (The opposite actually, he has a superior IQ) but he did have speech delays. The articulation delays have gone away but he still stutters sometimes.

As a first grade teacher, my advice would be to listen to your son's teacher and go ahead with testing. You never know what you will find out. If he qualifies that is great. He can start getting the help he needs. If he doesn't qualify, I would wait a bit longer for the diet to really kick in and his body to heal. That may be playing a huge factor in your son's memory. Good luck!

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Our son (now 4.5) has been gluten free for 14 months. He definitely has learning issues from gluten. He has delays in his speech, and we saw one of the experts in the country for late talking kids and was told that our son's delays are typical for what this doctor sees with kids with celiac. Our son has improved a lot, but we did have an incident this summer in which he got a piece of "real" pizza. We saw his amount of speaking reduce dramatically, his pronounciation was bad, and a couple of other negative things.

You might want to make sure your child isn't anemic---we found out this fall our son was. Also, have his levels for magnesium, b12, calcium, and zinc checked. We give our son cod liver oil for the omega oils which are necessary for brain development.

I would definitely hold off on any testing. We started to really see a positive change around the 6 month mark. I would give your son's body a chance to heal and a chance for the gluten to get out.

Blessings!

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Thanks! It's nice to hear that the celiac might be the culprit. He has only been gluten free for a month and his appetite has dramatically improved. It will be interesting to see if his learning does also. Thanks for the replies.

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