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May epilepsy be mistaken with autism spectrum disorders in children?
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May epilepsy be mistaken with autism spectrum disorders in children?

Hi, my 5 y.o. son was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 y.o.
He has many symptoms that are consistent with this diagnosis: he doesn't speak, he repeats some words or sounds but in high-pitched or sing-song voice,he doesn't seem to fear danger or pain, loves to line up toys and play alone...
But he has been having this uncontrollable crying episodes. For no apparent reason he starts to cry really loud for about 3-5minutes and his face expression is of fear. On those moments he seeks for hugs from me or the rest of the family and he looks in our eyes like screaming for help.
I don't know what to do to calm him down and I'm scared he may have another condition that is being mistaken with autism.
Is it possible that he has epilepsy or other 'problems' that are making him have this reactions?
I feel really lost, thank you so much for any answers you can give me!
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1006035_tn?1391310794
Hi,

I have a 6 year old daughter with autism who goes through episodes like this. My suggestion is to give him what he is seeking. Hold him tight and give him hugs. The deep pressure is soothing. Do you have any weighted blankets or vests that he can use? We also set up a therapy room in our basement where she can go to calm herself. It has a swing just like the one she uses at occupational therapy and she loves it. Swinging is very soothing. You could also get a little tent or enclosed area for him to go when he gets overwhelmed. It does not sound like he is having a seizure, although some children with autism do suffer from seizure disorder. We also got our DD a service dog who helps calm her when she is upset. He has been a life saver.

Generally you get a diagnosis from a developmental pediatrician, so my suggestion is to speak to this doctor about your concerns and they will point you in the right direction from there. Is your son receiving speech and occupational therapy? If he is discuss this behavior with those therapists; if not I would start therapy.
4 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi there,
Any child in the autism spectrum disorder is affected in three different areas like social interaction, behaviors and interests and communication. Your child seems to be having all the symptoms which are expected to be seen in autism.Epilespy is not associated with any problems in behavioral or social skills. These areas of development are normal in a patient with epilepsy. Few other differentials of autism are Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder etc.A complete history; clinical examination by an experienced neurologist may confirm the diagnosis. Do write to me again.
Best luck and regards!
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1006035_tn?1391310794
Hi,

I have a 6 year old daughter with autism who goes through episodes like this. My suggestion is to give him what he is seeking. Hold him tight and give him hugs. The deep pressure is soothing. Do you have any weighted blankets or vests that he can use? We also set up a therapy room in our basement where she can go to calm herself. It has a swing just like the one she uses at occupational therapy and she loves it. Swinging is very soothing. You could also get a little tent or enclosed area for him to go when he gets overwhelmed. It does not sound like he is having a seizure, although some children with autism do suffer from seizure disorder. We also got our DD a service dog who helps calm her when she is upset. He has been a life saver.

Generally you get a diagnosis from a developmental pediatrician, so my suggestion is to speak to this doctor about your concerns and they will point you in the right direction from there. Is your son receiving speech and occupational therapy? If he is discuss this behavior with those therapists; if not I would start therapy.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you both for your answers. He is already receiving speech and occupational therapy and both therapists told me that he is not a typical autistic because he is very opened to physical contact, likes to give and receive kisses and hugs, smiles/laughs when we do something funny. I guess I just keep on looking for other explanations to his behavior.
I will most likely visit a neurologist just to be sure he's not having seizures.

Any other suggestions you might have for me are welcomed.

Once again thank you for your help.
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1006035_tn?1391310794
It is a misconception that people with autism are not affectionate. I've actually found just the opposite to be true, they are quite loving. My daughter LOVES hugs and kisses and always has. I know plenty of other children on the spectrum who are the same way. I'm not entirely sure where this myth came from.
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