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Old 03-26-2005, 10:35 PM   #1
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raspberries HB User
Possible CAE in 27-month-old. Questions


Over the last two months we have noticed 5 instances of absent staring in our toddler son. Once he stopped eating, then resumed 4 or 5 seconds later. Another time he failed to flinch when I waved my hand in front of his eyes.

The staring spells are brief and he shows no disorientation afterward. He shows no other obvious sign of seizure activity except, when he is nursing to sleep, occasionally he will twitch 4 or 5 times in succession over two or three seconds, legs bending forward slightly. It strikes me as a variation of the twitching we all seem to do while dropping off to sleep.

We plan on taking him in for an eval., and I have been reading up in the meantime. Was that the wrong thing to do? I am *so* depressed at the possibilities for cognitive and social problems!

He seems to be developing normally, has an astonishing memory, a long attention span, talks a blue streak, has a large vocabulary, jokes a lot, enjoys music, books are his main "vice." (Richard Scarry books are like crack, I swear) Everyone comments on how easy-going and sweet he is.

So you can imagine how I felt when I read that the prognosis for remission and good cognitive development is poor for CAE patients with onset before age three.

Is that true?

I suppose I'm putting the cart before the horse.

If absences are only a few per day and the EEG looks okay, is there any need to medicate?

Thanks for any insight.

Teddy's mama

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Old 03-26-2005, 11:36 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2005
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EthanF HB User
Re: Possible CAE in 27-month-old. Questions

It woud be worth it to look into the possibility of you child being epileptic. Many people are being diagnosed at young ages. I am 27 now and I had my first seizure and was diagnosed before I was 1 year old. In fact my first seizure was on my Mom's first Mother's Day which was also her birthday.

Best of luck to you

Old 03-28-2005, 05:12 AM   #3
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gagcas HB User
Lightbulb Re: Possible CAE in 27-month-old. Questions

hi there,

i agree with is always best to double check your doubts if i hadn't taken my then 4 year old to the dr. i would have never found out he had absence seizures he would throw terrible, terrible temper tantrums. very violent for a 3-4 year old. he would have night terrors, blink his eyes repeatedly. we thought he needed eye glasses so i took him to the eye dr. and was normal. after a while i had had enough and went to his pede who has seen him since birth, and told her something wasn't right. she ran all the tests. EEG, MRI, bloodwork, etc. she wanted to make sure nothing was up because she would feel horrible if something came up later and she missed it. all precautions she said. our next step after that would be to test for ADHD, which can mimic epilepsy and often diagnosed instead. well sure enough his EEG came back with seizure activity. his EEG showed that he was having missfires all over the brain. kind of like fire works. if i hadn't taken him to the DR i would have never known, and believe me epilepsy didn't even occur to me as a possibility.

once we fond out and had done some history with the neuro, we believe he has had it since he was 1 1/2-2 years old. we just never cought any of the signs. he has had some deley in a few of his learning abilities from it.

i would say stick with the appt. and follow it thru. you wont know if you don't do it. and about the reading up of things...your a mother. its your nature to look for reasons behind things that worry you about your kids. it just means you care, but in the same sense your getting yourself worked up. i did the same thing. don't feel bad.

i wouldn't waste any time on getting the evaluation. the sooner the better, if not to ease your mind. if i hadn't waited so long we would have been treating this a lot sooner that what we were.

good luck to you and keep us posted on how it all comes out.
To the world, you might be one person, but to one person you might just be the world

Old 03-28-2005, 01:57 PM   #4
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raspberries HB User
Re: Possible CAE in 27-month-old. Questions

Dear Ethan and Gagcas,

Thanks for your input. Teddy's staring spells come at the rate of about one every other week for the last few months that we'd noticed. This week he had three, but we were looking harder. He is also miserably sick with some kind of croupy bug this week and may be a little "out of it" because of that, too. What we think were seizures seem to have happened at times when he was prone to take a nap.

I mostly worry about seizure activity that could impede his learning, eventually. So I made an appointment today with the pediatrician for an initial evaluation, and, we hope, a referral for an EEG and other necessary testing, at least so we have a baseline.

Teddy has a half-sister and brother who fall on the autistic spectrum, and while Teddy seems to show no signs of that, it is another reason to have someone take a close look, given the hereditary nature of autism.

<<he has had some deley in a few of his learning abilities from it.>>

Gagcas, could you give me some examples of this? I take it that he is doing fine under treatment but that the sz activity held him back in a few respects, right?

FWIW, Teddy has only had occasional mild tantrums--nothing to give us pause. Nor is he accident prone.

Thanks again for your input.


Old 03-29-2005, 04:20 AM   #5
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gagcas HB User
Talking Re: Possible CAE in 27-month-old. Questions

Well, its a good to hear that you set the first appt. its the first step, to ease your mind if anything.

gage had a hard time picking up on things. would forget certain things and have to repeatadly ask what a word was when he was trying to explain something. it would take him 2 weeks to remember a name he had given his teddy bear, like the name of a shark, etc. something he should know already. we had him in a type of headstart program last year. its kind of like a preschool. the main thing we see with him and its been like this from the beginning is it affected his letters and anything to do with them. he was almost 5 before he got his ABC's down and even longer to recognize them. we are having a hard time with 'sight' words now. but that just seem to be his weak spot. he was 4 1/2 half before potty trained, etc. but he flew through everything else. walked by 1, colors by 2, numbers at 3-4. i guess a good way of explaining it would be if he was learning the alphabet and had an absence seizure while saying H,I,J, he would forget those 3 letters. And we would have to start al over again. We have had to teach him the full alphabet 3 times now. and that would come into play at anything he was learning.

once he got on the meds he has been fairly good. he has gotten much better. and kindergarten has helped greatly as well. being with the other kids helps. i was so worried he would be behind them, and his teacher has told me he is right up to speed with the rest of the class. just the letter things he needs a little extra push in. we may see more probs later down the road in the higher grades but i will take that road when i get to it. now its pretty much up to me to be his back bone and make sure he gets what he needs. what is it they say...a mothers work is never done. lol

does he have any night terrors at all? teddy is at the age when gage started his. just curious. well i hope the appt. goes well and please keep us up to date. we are all here to help one another and i have found that this board can be my backbone at times. some of these regulars can explain things better than the dr.'s. hee hee
To the world, you might be one person, but to one person you might just be the world

Old 04-02-2005, 03:35 PM   #6
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raspberries HB User
Good EEG ( was Re: Possible CAE in 27-month-old. Questions)

Hello again. My 27 mo. son had a sleep-deprived EEG yesterday and unofficially it looked unremarkable. He has been having what look like occasional absence seizures, but none happened during sleep, waking, or during photo-stimulation.

So . . . does a negative EEG bode well for a two-year-old?

We may or may not get referred to a good neurologist after this EEG is read. The pediatrician who gave him an initial exam (a neuro check and an exam for pneumonia, which he has), said that he checks out well, shows no delays and seems somewhat verbally advanced.

Thanks for any insight,


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