Is epilepsy always recognizable? Is the most trivial question to answer.

If a seizure goes unnoticed and undetected for years – and a child keeps on getting them, then it can prove dangerous for the child. In addition to creating hurdles in the growth, development, and education of the child – seizures can lead to long-term health issues.

The reason why some of the seizures go undetected is how they occur. Some seizure types such as absence seizures are difficult to recognize. They do not involve any muscle movements or convulsions that are typically associated with most of the seizures. A child who experiences absence seizures may seem to be just not paying attention or daydreaming. Furthermore, an absence seizure may not even last a minute.

Sometimes, a child seems to be having a seizure – which may not be epilepsy. Certain illnesses (viral illness) and high fevers can cause seizures – that are not true seizures. For this reason, it is not always easy to recognize a seizure. A specialist doctor must take the time to diagnose epilepsy correctly.

What to look out for?

Care Takers, Parents, teachers, and doctors should report unusual signs to a specialist doctor.

Whoever takes care of children including parents, teachers, and pediatricians should know the typical signs and symptoms of epilepsy. They should also understand and differentiate certain signs and symptoms that are often normal childhood behavior.

When the adults who take care of children notice any unusual symptoms or certain behaviors that seem to be unusual. They should report them to a child neurologist. In some cases, some behaviors seem to be happening often and are unusual, they should mention such symptoms as well.

Is epilepsy always recognizable?

If you notice that your child is experiencing certain unusual behaviors – such as the following, then you should report them to a pediatric neurologist:

  • Not paying attention or daydreaming
  • Memory gaps, dazed behavior
  • Short attention blackouts
  • Mumbling or no response
  • Unusual clumsiness, frequent stumbling, Sudden falls
  • Rapid eye blinking
  • Unusual and repeated movements such as head nodding
  • Sudden stomach pain followed by confusion and sleepiness
  • Sudden and repeated anger or fear
  • Irritability and unusual sleepiness after waking up
  • Repeated or clusters of unusual movements (jackknife) by babies sitting down
  • Clusters of grabbing movements with both arms in babies lying on their backs
  • Frequent complaints that things look, sound, taste, smell, or feel “funny”

Bottom Line

Adults who notice unusual behaviors should inform an epilepsy specialist doctor. The information will help the doctor in the proper diagnosis of epilepsy. The following things will help:

The duration and frequency of the behavior

The level of the child’s response when something unusual happens to him

Whether the child can respond or answer during the episode

Does the child remember or know what was going on during and after the seizure

Is epilepsy always recognizable? Learn more about the types of epilepsy in children