It is believed that at least 20% of autistic children may have Lyme Disease. Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria which has at least 37 known species and an unknown number of genomic strains. It is typically transmitted by a tick bite, but has been found in breast milk, semen, mosquitos, fleas, and can be passed from mother to a child in utero, which can greatly suppress the immune system. New research indicates that it can be passed through sexual intercourse, so it is now being considered as an STD. Someone can have Lyme Disease without any symptoms, but typical symptoms include flu-like symptoms or a rash, which can occur weeks after contraction. Lyme disease is treated with antibiotic therapy. Unfortunately, Lyme is often missed by traditional testing due to the number of unknown strains.
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My son was bitten by a wolf spider around 18-21 months of age. Prior to this bite, he was a neurotypical boy. At his 24 month vaccines, he developed a flu-like illness within 12 hours of receiving his vaccines. It presented with cyclic vomiting, high fever of 104F, muscle weakness, lethargy, autistic behaviors, etc. I was told it was not a vaccine reaction. The doctor believed he contracted the flu when visiting his baby brother in the hospital two weeks prior. I believed him.
Over the next 18 months, my son would spike fevers for no reason. He lost and regained language repeatedly. We started noticing he lost language during illness and would start progressing again once well. He started having diarrhea 8 times a day and started losing weight, muscle, until he stopped growing. Our pediatrician referred us to a developmental who diagnosed him with regressive autism. But she was unsure of his medical symptoms and encouraged us to seek out other specialists. Alarmed we switched pediatricians after discussions with a former pediatrician went nowhere.
The new pediatrician immediately suspected mitochondrial disease / dysfunction. She also suspected food sensitivities, MTHFR, Vit D3 deficiencey, etc. We started a Paleo diet, and the diarrhea cleared up within 40 days. Six months later, the mitochondrial specialist confirmed through bloodwork that he had enough data to support having WES (whole exome sequencing). We started a mitochondrial cocktail and Leucovorin 25mg tablet. We got back WES results 9 months later, and he didn’t have any mutations associated with primary mitochondrial disease. The mitochondrial specialist classified him as having secondary mitochondrial disease (or a.k.a. mitochondrial dysfunction).
He began making gains. He started talking in 3 word sentences. He started labeling and pointing again. Then he got strep. It presented with classic PANDAS signs. It took him 7 weeks to get over strep. Then a month later, he got another strep infection with PANDAS signs. Our pediatrician confirmed PANDAS after the second infection. We went to a neurologist to rule out anything that might better explain the language losses and weird tic behaviors. The neurologist suspected Landau-Kleffner Syndrome. We had MRI, EEG, etc. Nothing showed up. When our son got strep for the 3rd time in 7 months, we went to an ENT who removed the tonsils and adenoids.
We started gaining language again. Then he got sick with stomach viruses and ear infections with PANDAS behavior but milder in nature than the strep behavior. I noticed a lot of people talking about Lyme Disease on the PANDAS / PANS group (FB). So we went to a naturopath where my son was diagnosed with Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and mycoplasma (in addition to some other things that go with a compromised immune system). We are currently treating the Lyme Disease and other co-infections through the naturopath.
Why am I sharing this? Because every step of the way, my son didn’t completely fit any of the labels. But he was given them so we could get help. I have learned since the Lyme Disease dx the following things: 1) it can cause mitochondrial dysfunction, 2) it can emerge after vaccines (they make it worse and can become co-infections), 3) strep is often a co-infection, 4) it can mimic PANDAS/PANS & ASD, 5) wolf spiders can be vectors of tick-borne illnesses, 6) it can cause movements that look like self-stimulatory behaviors, 7) it can cause cyclic language regression, and 8) it can cause abnormal seizure behavior.
Parents, you know your child better than any doctor. If your child doesn’t completely fit a diagnosis (or even if they do), don’t settle. Keep exploring. Increasing function and healing the body are worthy goals of your time and attention.
hello Kim. Do u have email. i want to ask you abt that. please help
This is Ash,my son was diagnosed with Lyme induced autism. Would you please be able to share some information with me? He is currently being treated with antibiotics. Is there anything else you followed to improve your child’s Lyme?
I’m currently reading Buhner’s book Healing Lyme. I will be starting his protocol soon. There’s a FB group Baby Buhner, Cowden, Klinghart and more you should join if interested. We’ve also been doing Andy Cutler Chelation when great success.
I think pyroluria is behind the bacteria/virus-infektions for these kids. The immune system gets depressed.