Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
Avatar universal

9 yr old son keeps spacing out but is still functioning....

Hello, For the past three weeks my 9 yr old son has started spacing out. He can communicate when it is happening and can still function (brushing teeth, maths at school, walking to school etc.) He describes it as everything goes a bit like a cartoon and dream like and the sound is a bit fuzzy. (I have ruled out absent seizures as he does not miss anything) It started with the odd one or two a day that lasted 1-2 mins but two days ago he had a 15mins one at school and the teacher was able to communicate with him the whole time. He drew a graph of the intensity of it. Today he had three similar ones so it is getting worse.  He is very healthy, we have a very good diet, restricted technology rules and we are an outdoorsy family. He has a regular bedtime. He is happy and a very good, clever boy and being very mature with his communication. He does have panic attacks after an accident 19 months ago resulted in surgery, but they are infrequent, maybe 7 altogether. I am keen to rule some things out before consulting the doctor so I am for example, making sure his hair is out of his eyes, ensuring he is drinking enough, making sure he is not consuming chemicals in foods and I've increased his B-complex as i realised this is a food group he may be low on.  I would be thankful for any thoughts and suggestions and ideas on what it could be.
Many thanks for you time reading this.
7 Responses
973741 tn?1342342773
Hm.  wonder what is going on.  I would try ignoring it completely.  He's doing a task while he's spacy.  why I say this is that my son has sensory integration disorder.  He 'loses' himself for a few minutes here and there and it happens most often during a mundane task.  Such as getting dressed in the morning.  He stares off in space, hand on feet with a shoe in it.  I say his name and he is like 'huh?'.  He literally spaces out for a couple of minutes.  It's frustrating for me because I'm like "GET READY!".  Now, this isn't exactly like what you are describing but as they've ruled out seizures---  I go to other neurological things like add/adhd or even a little bit of a mental health break.  He's been evaluated by a doctor and things have been ruled out.  I guess I'd take him back and say "what's next"?  to figure this out.  Does he get enough exercise? This is a big thing to a properly running nervous system.  Anyway, I know this wasn't helpful and I'm sorry you are so worried. I hope it can get sorted out soon.  good luck
1 Comments
Thank you, this is very helpful and gives me something else to research and see if there is a link for my son. I had not heard of Sensory Integration disorder.
Thank you again.
189897 tn?1441126518
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hummm, when is this happening?  Only at school? or school and home?  What time of day?
   And, of course, has anything changed or upset him in the last 3 or 4 weeks?
1 Comments
I have been keeping a food diary and diary of when they happen. There is no pattern but seems to be sometimes in the morning, 10-15 mins after getting up while he is having his own time, sometimes on the walk to school. However the more frequent occurrences seem to be after lunch. This may be during class or during PE.He is a very engaged, contentious student and likes school and his teacher (who happens to be a close family friend). It also happens at the weekend of course. Nothing significant has changed since he had a knee accident 19 months ago. Thank you.
Avatar universal
Look up MTHFR Gene. And no it is not a swear word it is a gene mutation. That can be dealt with with proper nutrition and nutritional products
Avatar universal
Has he been or is he possibly being sexually abused? This sounds like a symptom of D.I.D. dissociative identity disorder... patients often describe remembering certain memories as if a dream or watching from a far. Something to look into for sure.  It's always the person you would least expect and kids are usually sworn to secrecy. Multiple times its the father or close family friend that no one would ever expect.
1 Comments
It sounds like a period of dissociation. Dissociation runs the gamut from daydreaming to DID (or what was Multiple Personality Disorder). It is VERY unlikely that it is the latter, but his sense of being somewhat disconnected from reality for a period of time does suggest that he may be dissociating. However, there are medical disorders that can bring this on and cause symptoms very similar to this, including some types of epilepsy. I recommend starting with your pediatrician to rule in or out various medical disorders. If these are ruled out, you should ask for a referral to a mental health professional. It could be a delayed posttraumatic response to his previous accident, or something else. Regardless, it is worth following up on.
Avatar universal
hi, i'm no professional, i'm actually a kid too, 17 now
i've had the exact same thing happen to me as a child, except it used to freak me out in the beginning and i kept crying to my family about it but couldn't really find the words to properly describe what i was feeling and they thought it was a laughing matter
it stopped happening for two years though, and came back when i was in 2nd grade, spinning around with my friends
i totally spaced out and after a few moments that felt like forever i just stopped spinning and snapped out of it and i was like: 'wait what? this isn't a dream, but it feels like one!' and i just looked at my hands and freaked out and started telling my friends nonsense about how this isnt real and i had to go back home quickly and i was so scared my knees started flailing (i dont know if that's the right expression?)
it eventually stopped once i got home and i was telling my grandma about it, she dismissed it as 'you were probably lightheaded from the spinning' but i knew better... that was not lightheadedness!
the next time it happened was when i had a panic attack when i was at the top of a building with no elevators and the lights wouldn't turn on (i have a phobia of stairs, water and used to be afraid of the dark.. so that was 2 out of 3!) and when i had to go back down, i started screaming and crying, my friends and teachers were trying to help me down but i couldn't go
eventually they made me start going and while i was walking, i thought i was going to collapse, my heartbeat was insane, a full blown panic attack! and suddenly, i found myself almost down with only a few more steps to go.. i spaced out in the middle of the process of going down the stairs! that might've been out of shock but it continued happening from time to time and as i grew older it became normal and i was no longer afraid of that feeling, i even managed to purposely do it a few times

i went too much into detail with the story, sorry about that
the point of this post was, i was later on at the age of 13 diagnosed with severe anxiety, and was told that the disassociating was a warning sign of a possible mental disorder. i suffered lots of trauma as a child though, and it came as a result of that. no matter how much my family tried to leave me out of their fights and other dirty business, i was still there and i still knew what was going on. if that was not your case, maybe you should talk to your kid and see if something is bothering him? or visit a psychologist possibly? wish you the best of luck! xoxo
1 Comments
Before I even reached the part where you have severe anxiety attacks I was already thinking that's EXACTLY what it sounds like. No mental disorder lol...pure anxiety. Dr's are so quick to drug kids up these days it's sickening! And I'm sure you know you aren't mental just extremely overwhelmed and panicking due to the "heavy load" your family drops on you then nonchalantly brushes off. Adults can be careless ******** around kids and swear they aren't bothered or can't comprehend adult matters but they do! And it hits kids much harder than adults cuz the subject matter is heavier than any child should have to worry about and or witness. So now instead of being an innocent/carefree child/teen they're now forced to "grow up" and stress over adult matters and how they can fix it or think it's their fault. Most adults can barely handle adult matters so imagine what it's like for a child? "Disassociating" LOLOLL HELLO! Of course you are cuz what 13yr old would rather stress over family BS than hang with friends? How else were you supposed to deal with you phobias in order to make it down the stairs?? As for doing it for fun tho..I get it but don't have too much fun or else you really might end up mental...................,............like the rest of your family. (lol) ;)
189897 tn?1441126518
COMMUNITY LEADER
It is possible that this is a  "simple partial seizure",  which is "When people have simple partial seizures, they are fully awake, alert and able to interact throughout the seizure. Overall, these seizures are brief lasting less than 2 minutes".  from - http://www.epilepsy.com/learn/types-seizures/simple-partial-seizures.
   Its probably worth checking this out.  It could be related to his panic attacks after his accident.  Do let us know if you are able to get help with this.   It is so scary to have a child go through something like this.  Best wishes.
Avatar universal
It sounds like he has had a very difficult experience with the accident. Are his panic attaks triggered by memories/reminders of the accident? I agree with other posters that what you are describing sounds like dissociation, which can present as a way of  coping with trauma. I am wondering about what support he has had in understanding the accident, feeling safe now and having anxiety validated/normalised. In the first instance I would suggest checking that there are no underlying medical conditions, and then finding a way to support him with anxiety.
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Child Behavior Community

Top Children's Health Answerers
189897 tn?1441126518
San Pedro, CA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Fearing autism, many parents aren't vaccinating their kids. Can doctors reverse this dangerous trend?
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
We answer your top questions about the flu vaccine.
Learn which over-the-counter medicines are safe for you and your baby
Yummy eats that will keep your child healthy and happy
Healing home remedies for common ailments