could it be epilepsy?

It is estimated that around 30 percent  of people with autism develop epilepsy, some in early childhood and others as they go through hormone level changes in puberty.

Like autism, epilepsy exists on a spectrum. Severity varies widely. In addition, experts now distinguish seizures by where they begin in the brain. This is important because it affects the choice of seizure medication, the potential benefit of epilepsy surgery, future outcomes and possible causes.

Suspicion of seizures warrants prompt evaluation by a neurologist. The neurologist may order an electroencephalogram (EEG). An EEG is a noninvasive process that involves placing electrodes on the head to monitor activity in the brain. By analyzing EEG patterns, neurologist can identify seizures and other altered brain activity of concern.

Treating epilepsy in patients who have autism follows the same principles as treatment of epilepsy in other people. Typically, the doctor usually selects an anti-epileptic medication based on several considerations such as the type and severity of seizures and their associated EEG patterns. These drugs do not cure epilepsy. In most cases, however, they can prevent or minimize seizures.

Local Epilepsy Resources

The Defeating Epilepsy Foundation
Nonprofit serving the Inland Empire and Coachella Valley.  Its mission is to provide the advocacy and educational resources needed to the epilepsy community and our society. They are dedicated to removing the stigma associated with epilepsy and help to create opportunities for individuals battling epilepsy. The founder Natalie Boehm has been battling epilepsy for over forty years and is focused on helping individuals and families battling epilepsy gain better educational and economic opportunities and work to help them improve their quality of life.  Offers educational presentations, a scholarship program for students, a Mental Empowerment Program, and in the process of launching a seizure alert dog program.

Dr. Muhammad Salim, Pediatric Neurology
1180 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Ste. W214, Palm Springs, CA 92262 (760) 416-4545
47-647 Caleo Bay Dr, Suite 101, La Quinta, CA 92253 (760) 771-6166
58457 Twentynine Palms Hwy, Suite 200, Yucca Valley, CA 92284 (760) 228-1813
Dr. Salim’s clinical interests include medical and surgical management of epilepsy, Video EEG monitoring in the setting of epilepsy monitoring unit, critical care EEG monitoring and neonatal neurology and autism.

The Epilepsy Center
(951) 281-9892
Provides services to people living in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties dealing with epilepsy.  Offers free services such as resources, support, advocacy, epilepsy educational classes, and more.

Loma Linda University Epilepsy Center
11234 Anderson St., Loma Linda, CA 92354
Leading center for epilepsy care in Southeastern California.  The only medical facility in the region with the highest-level designation from the National Association of Epilepsy Centers.  Education events on epilepsy so patients and caregivers can meet and learn from experts about advances in diagnosis and treatment, diet therapies, new devices and safety. Our goal is to help you or your loved one enjoy a full, productive life by helping to manage epilepsy and its symptoms

The Autism Society Inland Empire Autism (ASIE) maintains these Resource Listings as a service to families as a reference tool. Every effort is made to ensure listings are up-to-date. ASIE does not endorse or claim to have personal knowledge of the abilities of those listed. The resources listed are not intended as a recommendation, referral, or endorsement of any resource or as a tool for verifying the credentials, qualifications, or abilities of any organization, product or professional. Users are urged to use independent judgment and request references when considering any resource associated with diagnosis or treatment of autism, or the provision of services related to autism.