Monarch Center for Autism Cleveland Ohio

Seizure Disorders

Seizure Disorder13, also called Epilepsy, occurs in as many as 39% of people with autism. It is more common in children who also have cognitive deficits than those without. Some researchers have suggested that it is more common when the child has shown a regression or loss of skills.

There are different types and subtypes of seizures and a child with autism may experience more than one type. The easiest to recognize are large "grand mal" (or tonic-clonic) seizures. Others include "petit mal" (or absence) seizures and subclinical seizures, which may only be apparent in an EEG ( Electroencephalogram). It is not clear whether subclinical seizures have effects on language, cognition and behavior.

The seizures associated with autism usually start either early in childhood or during adolescence, but may occur at any time. If you are concerned that your child may be having seizures you should see a neurologist. The neurologist may order tests which may include an EEG, a MRI ( Magnetic Resonance Imaging), CT ( Computed Axial Tomography) and a CBC ( Complete Blood Count).

Children and adults with epilepsy are typically treated with anticonvulsant or seizure medicines to reduce or eliminate occurrence. If your child has epilepsy, you will work closely with a neurologist to find the medicine that works the best with the fewest side effects and to learn the best ways to ensure your child's safety during a seizure.


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