Autism AND Leukemia!?!?

Tiana - posted on 07/29/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I was wondering if anyone out there has ever heard of any research being done to see if there is a possible connection between Autism and Leukemia. I did hear that children who have Down Syndrome are more at risk to develop childhood cancers (Leukemia). My son is not autistic but exhibits many of the symptoms. He was diagnosed as having severe Sensory Regulatory Disorder (Sensory Processing Disorder) at 20 months. Then about a year later I find out that he also has cancer. ALL (Acute Lmphoblastic Leukemia) to be exact. It's been a year of chemotherapy and he has been responding really well. But I would def say that it has made his sensory issues worse because of all of the side effects of chemo. I couldn't take it at first. It was too much for me to handle but I quickly toughened up for him, because I have to be strong for him. So I am curious, how many families have been effected like ours? This cannot be some kind of coincidence!


Additional Details....
While at the cancer center where he receives treatment, I came across a mom and her son. She (the mom) was looking at my son in a curious kind of way (I'm used to that) because he was flapping his hands like he does when he is excited or anxious, and she asked politely why he was doing that. I explained that he hasn't been diagnosed as autistic but that he has S.P.D which can look very similar. She was very interested because her son had been diagnosed as having Asperger's Syndrome. He was diagnosed at 3 and then around 6 the family found put that he also had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia! Same thing with my little boy, diagnosed as having something of a mild case of autism and cancer. How can this be!?!?!?

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Debra - posted on 12/11/2012

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I am also curious my son, who is 16 and autistic, has been recently diagnosed with very high risk B-precuror acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He is responding to very aggressive treatment but I also have wondered if his autism was a link to the cancer since there is no history of cancer in mine or my ex-husbands family. I have done several searches to no avail but seems that children with autism are increasingly getting some type of leukemia and wonder why. I know most of the studies are on Down Syndrome and maybe it is time for researchers to see if there is a link.

Natasha - posted on 02/27/2010

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hey. my son has ALL too. he was diagnosed at 18 months an is now 2 an a half. He didn't respond to treatment quite well at the start as he became allergic to PEG, Dex, Vincristine, Blood transfusion, Morphine, Platelets, An just was always Neutropenic so we didnt go anywhere or see any other kids. becos we were told hes not allowed to. But wat the mother b4 me said about the "Catching up" We were told the same thing as my son stopt doing everythink when he first got sick like talking, walking, eating, playing. he literally screamed for the first 4 months we lived in hospital. But weve started to see improvement in him even tho its little things hes still getting back to being a his normal silly self he was b4 all of this. But they also told me they thought he had Autisim aswell becos some of the things he was doing, the arm flapping wen he got xcited or scared. the freaking out when he went to new places an meeting new people, the way he played with his toys. But i had talked to another mum whos son had been through it at the same age as mine an she said her son did all of that wile he was on treatment for the four years but has now gotten older an has growen out of those things an caught up to the other kids of his age. I really hope this helps yu. an i wish yu and yur son all the best. x

Jamie - posted on 09/08/2009

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I am a mother of a child with T cell ALL. My daughter does not have autism, but I have noticed at our Children's Cancer Clinic that many of the children "appear" to have these things as well... However, a few of these same children, when finished a long battle with cancer & the many chemos, they seemed to get much better & I don't mean better just because they were off treatment! Really better, mentally too. The doctor just explained it as "catching up"? I don't know if that is correct? My daughter was diagnosed at 14 months and she is now 3 & grow up knowing nothing but this illness & these meds. The meds. themselves I know can cause many things, especailly if they have been on the vincristine & the dex steroid vs. pred. steroid. I think that in more cases than is reported, much is masked due to this serious illness that you can never really know what your dealing with until treatment is finished. At times I really thought my daughter had some of the same issues & among that ADD... I hope you find the answers you are looking for! Sadly I have not found mine nor found any that cared to talk about it much. Why do some children have this window that is open to this horrible cancer & no one can tell us where it came from or where it goes. Everyday I look around my house & think to myself, "Is that what did it? Where are you hiding? & Do we need to move?"

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