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4 yr. old with blank stares, family hx. of seizures
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4 yr. old with blank stares, family hx. of seizures

My 4 yr. old son has been having episodes for over 3 years that include him "spacing out" & staring blankly into space.He typically cocks his head to the side & his eyes may roll to the side that his head is tipped to, or they may stay centered. Sometimes just a few seconds prior to the episode he becomes very pale. It seems that he can't hear us while he is in this state. We call his name & touch him & he does not respond. If you lift his arm while in this state, it just flops back down to his side. The episodes vary in length from a few seconds to upwards of 2 minutes. He comes out of them as if nothing at all has happened & goes on with his activity. He can have them all day some days or on other days it seems as if he doesn't have any.
Sometimes we can induce these episodes by putting him in a swing, he seems to "space out" more often when he is tired or after a very exciting or taxing time (during or after a trip to the grocery, after speech therapy, at his birthday party, or when he is tired).
He does have a developmental delay in speech & has sensory integration disorder. For approx. 1.5 years his occupational therapist believed these episodes to be sensory in nature & referred to them as "sensory shut downs", however in the past year & a half she has changed her thinking as has his speech therapist & they believe them to be some sort of mini-seizure.
My husband did notice that when our son was an infant he would have strange episodes of a glazed look in his eye, no focus to his eyes, eyelid fluttering or his eyes would roll back in his head for a few seconds (5-10 seconds)....., he did this approx. 10 times as an infant. I didn't know about this until recently when we started discussing the possibility of seizures.
My husband & I both have some distant family history of seizure activity (my uncle, & my husband's great uncle- both would go limp, fall down, & be "out of it"), no formal diagnosis were made that we know of & both uncles seemed to be ok & live well into old age.

Have you ever heard of this cluster of symptoms?
Is it possible to have seizures that last only seconds & then you resume your normal activity as if nothing ever happened?
Is it possible to have numerous seizures everyday & have no recollection of it?

We have an appointment with a new pediatrician to discuss it further.

I know you can't offer a diagnosis on this page or from the limited amount of info. that I have given you, but if you could offer any insight or experience with this type problem I would be very grateful.

Thank you for your time,
Concerned mom in KY
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I am now 28 but have had same symptoms since 5yrs old, i get flushed and hear heart beat in my ears and pass out but eyes stay open and have blank stare and spouse has told me i am unresponsive if spoken to, usually if i feel like i am going to have an episode i lay down and wait till it passes and usually goes away if i am wear i can lay down. i also  dont knw the cause to this day good luck
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Answers to your questions follow:

Have you ever heard of this cluster of symptoms?
YES

Is it possible to have seizures that last only seconds & then you resume your normal activity as if nothing ever happened?
YES

Is it possible to have numerous seizures everyday & have no recollection of it?
YES

We have an appointment with a new pediatrician to discuss it further.
GOOD!  You probably will be refered to a pediatric neurologist.
Seizures can come in many varieties.  Best to have it checked out.
Best wishes.

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