For citation purposes: Kern JK, Geier DA, Sykes LK, Homme KG, Geier MR. Medical conditions in autism and events associated with the initial onset of autism. OA Autism 2014 May 22;2(1):9.

Research study

Causes & Prevalence

Medical conditions in autism and events associated with the initial onset of autism.

J Kern,, D Geier, L Sykes, K Homme, M Geier

Authors affiliations

(1) Institute of Chronic Illnesses, Inc., Silver Spring, USA

(2) University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, USA

(3) CoMeD, Inc., Silver Spring, USA

(4) International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, ChampionsGate, USA

* Corresponding author Email:



This study examined whether autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is associated with certain medical conditions. Certain psychiatric disorders were also examined. In addition, this study examined events prior to or associated with the onset of symptoms.

Materials and methods

The study used an online survey of developmental and medical information from parents of 83 children with a diagnosis of autism, pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), or ASD.


Reportedly, in the study group of children, 74% had food allergies, 51% had constipation, 26% had diarrhoea, 17% had irritable/inflammatory bowel disease, 12% had Clostridia infection in the gut, 51% had environmental allergies, 14% had asthma, 12% had seizures, 28% had insomnia, and 23% had eczema. For co-morbid psychiatric diagnoses, 45% had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attention deficit disorder (ADD); 17% had obsessive compulsive disorder; and, 18% had anxiety disorder. Acute physical symptoms associated with the onset of autism were fever (24%) and rash (22%). Events associated with the onset of autism were vaccinations (54%), a series of infections (52%), a viral infection (30%), a bacterial infection (19%), an allergic reaction (24%), and bronchitis (16%). Regression was reported in 55% of the children.


The findings suggest that several medical and psychiatric conditions are frequently observed in children with an ASD diagnosis. In addition, certain medical events, including vaccinations and infections, are often observed by parents to be associated with the onset of ASD.

Licensee OA Publishing London 2014. Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY)