I currently have a 6 year old student in my class who may be having some type of seizure. These are his symptoms: He crosses his legs and lifts them up. His whole body becomes very stiff and rigid. When I try to get his attention, he is not aware at all. This symptom usually lasts between 30 seconds to a minute. His mom says that at home he does the same thing. Once the episode is over, he continues to do what he was doing. Sometimes he is a little disoriented. His mother says that many times he seems real sleepy and he asks to go to sleep. There are times when he puts one of his hands in his groin area. The mother says that her son has been doing this since he was 2 years old. Doctor after doctor has told her that it's just a bad habit that he has developed. He has episodes with and without his hand in the groin area. We've asked him what he feels, and he says that he feels that are legs are tingling/and or like being tickled. He has said that the sensation is almost like when one's legs fall asleep. He's been in my class for 5 months. He's had these episodes almost on a daily basis. Sometimes the stiffning happens at least every five minutes. Sometimes it may happen just a couple of times a day, but they will last longer. Recently he has begun to sweat profusely. He is sitting at his desk, and then just begins to sweat. His face gets very flushed as well. His mother and I are very concerned for him. We both believe that it is not a bad habit that he has. His kindergarten teacher, the resource teachers, the school nurse, the speech teacher, the adapted p.e. teacher, and the occupational therapist all have seen him have his episodes. How can so many people see the same thing, and the doctors say that it's just a habit.
Does this sound like a symptom of somebody that may be having some type of seizure? Or perhaps the symptoms are for something else? His mother and I are desperate for help and answers.
Please let me know what you think about this, and is there something else the mother can do to get help for her son.
I am very sorry to hear that your student has been experiencing such symptoms. I do hope that his condition can be determined so that it can be treated at once.
It does appear that your student has been experiencing some sort of seizure which makes him stiff and rigid for a small amount of time. Has his mother brought him to a neuropediatrician to assess his condition? If the episodes occur fairly often, there is a good chance that an EEG can be done during one of his attacks to determine if, indeed, a seizure has occurred.
How is he, learning-wise, in your class? Does he exhibit lags in his developmental parameters? Or does he exhibit normal intelligence? If there are signs or symptoms of learning difficulties, it could point to a neurodevelopmental disorder as well.
His tingling sensations may be related to a peripheral neuropathy. He should be assessed for that as well.
Thank you for your quick response. The mother has taken him to Children's Hospital in Los Angeles, California. About a month ago they videotaped him over a 24 hour period. The mom says that he did have some episodes, but they seem to be still attributing it to a bad habit. I'll ask her if they've done an EEG on him. I'll also mention to her some of your other suggestions.
Fortunately for him, he is doing well academically. He is at grade level in all academic areas. He struggles a little bit with his oral comprehension. Sometimes his answers to questions are totally irrelevant. He receives help from the resource teacher due to a specific learning disablity. He is also receiving speech services. He has a very weak body structure. He has very limited upper body/core strength. That also affects some of his fine motor skills. That is why he receives adapted p.e. and services from an occupational therapist. He also sees a social worker to help him act a little bit more mature. At the beginning of the school year, he used to be very aggressive with other students. He had problems making good choices and keeping his hands to himself. He was also very defiant and disrespectful towards adults in school. The therapy with the social worker has helped. He still has days where his behavior is off. He doesn't make good choices. If if weren't for all of his "issues," he would be a normal/average school kid. He loves to read and use the computer.
I'm waiting for his doctor to call me. I'm very intersted to find out what she's going to tell me. If she tells me that's it's a habit, I'm definitely going to tell the doctor what many people around him beleive that he has. I will also mention some of your feedback. If not, I'll suggest to the mother that perhaps she may need another doctor.
Thank you for your response. It is very useful and helpful.
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