A SEVEN-year-old girl with autism has dramatically improved as a result of a simple blood test which revealed her intolerance to eggs.
Alicia Fortune from Co Wexford was developing normally until she received an MMR vaccine at 18 months.
For the next five years her condition deteriorated, she suffered from chronic stomach and breathing problems and would often end up in the emergency department of Wexford General Hospital.
All this changed when a midwife advised that she be checked for food intolerance. A simple blood test, carried out at the Fitzwilliam Food Test Clinic in Dublin, revealed Alicia was highly intolerant to egg.
This explained her reaction to the MMR vaccine -- which is egg-based.
Yesterday singer and campaigner Keith Duffy launched a new agreement between Irish Autism Action and the Fitzwilliam Food Test Clinic in Dublin to ensure children with autism have access to food intolerance testing.
Alicia loved eggs and often asked for them. But after the results parents Darren and Tina removed them from her diet.
Alicia's eye contact and breathing improved and her stomach problems disappeared. She also grew 8cm in 15 weeks.
Darren said: "The difference was startling. She was no longer frustrated by things and was able to learn and communicate and play with her friends. She is now in a mainstream school and is a chatty, happy little girl."
Clinic founder Martin Healy said: "The difference in Alicia was extremely dramatic and we want to ensure that all parents of children with autism get an opportunity to test their child for intolerances."