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absence seizures, adhd, or something else?

My 7yo son has always had problems with inattentiveness, and it is the primary area of difficulty for him in school, despite his excellent academics.  At home we are constantly frustrated that he frequently has a hard time following a series of directions.  It takes him forever and a day to tie his shoes because he will get distracted by something or just sit and stare off into space.  It takes him twice as long to get ready for school as his 5yo little sister.  When he gets involved in an activity which interests him (i.e. television, arts and crafts, reading), he is so engrossed that we usually have to call his name several times before he responds.  Lately it seems that he has a constant need to put his hands or fingers (or other objects) in or near his mouth or nose while he is watching tv, etc.  At school, he is doing well in reading and math, and he is an active contributor to class discussions.  His teacher's only complaints are that he continues to have difficulty sustaining attention, following directions, and socializing when he should be on task.  At age 5 we were told that this was typical behavior, but now our son is almost 8, and he continues to have the same issues.  As a child, I had many of the same issues, and by the age of 10 my teachers were complaining that I was constantly daydreaming.  My parents sent me for counseling and I saw a neurologist who ran a series of tests and diagnosed me with petit mal epilepsy, now known as generalized absence seizures.  I have read that this condition is hereditary.  Could my son, who exhibits so much of the same behavior, be suffering from the same condition?  Should I consult a doctor about his behavior?
1 Responses
242606 tn?1243786248
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Yes, it could be that your son is displaying absence seizures, though your description leads more to the probability of ADHD (Inattentive type). Due to the family history, a referral to a pediatric neurologist would be very prudent. It's important to rule this in or out. And, it is possible your son displays both a seizure disorder and ADHD - they are not mutually exclusive by any means. In any case, your son's symptoms in the context of the positive family history call for the neurology referral.
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