Staring Spells in Children

chmmr

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I posted this in the kitchen but no response so hopefully someone here may be able to relate :)

I am curious about how to tell the difference between an absence and a complex partial. From my reading it seems they can both present very much the same way (staring, non responsive etc) but how do you tell the difference between them because they seem to be "attached" to different forms of epilepsy, and it seems that in children it is even harder to tell because they can't communicate auras etc for the most part.

The one i saw yesterday was in my 3 year old so i can't tell if she had auras or anything else, but we pulled into our carport after a short 4 minute drive in the bright sun. She was tired as they hadn't had a nap yesterdayI turned around to talk to her and her twin brother like i always do and found her staring straight ahead at the front of the van. I called her name and grabbed her leg (i have been told to touch them if i suspect a seizure so we can differentiate between a true seizure and a young child behaviour, and she didn't respond. I sat there for a few seconds kind of processing what was going on, and realized during that time that her tongue was forward and resting on her lips (we see this forward tongue position sometimes with her and have never really figured out what it means) and then all of a sudden she kind of jumped (like a startle reflex like she was shocked that i was suddenly right in front of her) and then was fine again after that.

My first thought was it was an absence, but that doesn't really fit with the temporal lobe eeg abnormalities that she has so is it more of a complex partial because of the tongue? So confused
 

Cint

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Usually an absence seizure only last a few seconds at a time and when it's over the person is able to respond normally. A complex partial usually lasts from
1-2 minutes and the person just stares into space and may make unusual sounds or may walk mindlessly. They will not understand a word that is spoken although they look "spaced out" or drunk/drugged. When the seizure is over, they may take 10-15 minutes to recover; before she can speak or fully understand what you may be saying.

For more info her is a good website:
http://www.epilepsy.com/epilepsy/seizure_absence
http://www.epilepsy.com/epilepsy/seizure_complexpartial
 

chmmr

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I guess the really hard part is that in this situation i have no idea how long it lasted (as she was strapped into a carseat and was behind me), and because she's a child she doesn't talk about auras or things of that nature. I know it was probably at least 20-30s and probably longer because it took her a good 10-15 seconds at least to snap to after i realized what had happened. She didn't seem to be confused after ( i asked her her name and her brothers name etc but maybe it just depended on whether i asked the right question?). So many shades of grey with seizures....
 

donnajane

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My 28 month old does very similar things. It is so hard to tell what is what sometimes as we have been told he has what looks like absence seizures and also what look like complex partial from the video's i have been able to capture. His nureologist only says looks like as my sons condition is so random they are still looking into it.
Write everything down you see when it is happening and if you think of it at the time try to film it. (I know easy to say harder to do and I have missed filming so many seziures as I have been more worried about looking after my little man than recording it.)
Donna
 
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We're in the same boat with our 14-year old. I can't tell whether he's having absence seizures, complex partials, or just doing an autism sensory-avoidance thing. His 48-hour EEG was clear, and he doesn't speak so he can't tell us how he's feeling before a seizure.
 

jyearta

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have she seen a Neur.?

I have had Seizure all my live.

when I was a child, didn't have the right words for what was happening to me I would say "I seen this before" I knew what was coming in that I would feel so scared, I would stare ahead, I would swallow hard for several times, I would have lobster claw like movement in my hands.
 

chmmr

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have she seen a Neur.?

I have had Seizure all my live.

when I was a child, didn't have the right words for what was happening to me I would say "I seen this before" I knew what was coming in that I would feel so scared, I would stare ahead, I would swallow hard for several times, I would have lobster claw like movement in my hands.
Yes she has seen a neuro and has had abnormal EEG's since she was a month old. Always temporal lobe.
 
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We're in the same boat with our 14-year old. I can't tell whether he's having absence seizures, complex partials, or just doing an autism sensory-avoidance thing. His 48-hour EEG was clear, and he doesn't speak so he can't tell us how he's feeling before a seizure.
UPDATE: saw the neuro today, and he thinks these spells are complex partials.
 

KarenB

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Whatever the seizure type, it may be photosensitive induced, since you mention driving in bright sunlight. You may want to pay attention to other photosensitive triggers -- such as seizures when...
-watching TV, esp. if close to screen,
-looking at computer screen,
-staring at the sun or a bright light (like a moth to flame kind of thing)
-blinking lights
-fireworks
-sunlight filtering through trees or reflecting off water

If you notice a pattern, you might want to go to the "Kitchen" section and find the lengthy "Sunshine & Seizures" thread -- loads of research there. We went through this last Fall, and finally got Jon's seizures licked.

Also, please note that Absence Seizures in children younger than 3 may be a sign of Glut-1 Deficiency. This thread gives more info on that:
http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com...t-absence-seizures-associated-glut-1-a-19646/
 
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