Epilepsy Foundation

I am the mother of a 9 yr old boy who was diagnosed with Absence seizures March 2008. He has been on Depakote (or Divalproex) for the last year and a half and been seizure free (Yay!) However, we have been dealing with some MAJOR behavior issues in school. He can't sit still, is constantly making noises to get the other children's attention, lying to us when he gets in trouble, sometimes has tantrums when he is sent to the principal's office, quickly becomes frustrated and cries at some of the simpilest tasks, etc. His I need advice as to which doctor to speak to--the pediatrician or neurologist, and if this is common for kids with this type of seizure.

Tags: abscence, behavior, seizures

Views: 2093

Replies to This Discussion

I am 42 years old and have had absence and partial seizures for the last 24 years. I had one night with one or two tonic clonic seizures 20 years ago. These came after a head injury in an accident in 1985. While I have not had bad tantrums, I do get frustated and upset easily. I began taking 100mg of vitamin B6 just a couple of months ago. I think that I have seen some improvement over than time frame. Coincidence, I don't know. I recommend asking your pediatrician for advice before starting though. Being smaller, a smaller dose may be advised. Best of luck. Charlie
I have a daughter, 11, that has absence seizures and she is also on depakote. Before she was on depakote she had huge behavior problems, frustration and crying etc. We are see a neurospychiatrist which I would recommend to do. Also do you know what part of his brain is affected that may help you know more what direction to take as far as meds go and how you handle the behavior issue. He may have not just epilepsy but also ODD or depression, anxiety etc. I believe that is the seizures are in the frontal lobes that effects behavior so it's something to find out.
I can relate to your issues ,my son is 7 1/2 and attends moesefield.His teacher everyday she's telling me that his behavior is hard to bare,He can't sit still,he is always not paying attention,or he is hitting the other kids in the class.He is also on the depakote and some other meds,sometimes I just get tried of hearing about my son behavior and there's some kids who can't help the way they behave.And all I can do is just cry.
Charles--Thanks for the advice with the vitamins--I have heard this before but never spoke with anyone who takes it!

Charles W. Ross Jr said:
I am 42 years old and have had absence and partial seizures for the last 24 years. I had one night with one or two tonic clonic seizures 20 years ago. These came after a head injury in an accident in 1985. While I have not had bad tantrums, I do get frustated and upset easily. I began taking 100mg of vitamin B6 just a couple of months ago. I think that I have seen some improvement over than time frame. Coincidence, I don't know. I recommend asking your pediatrician for advice before starting though. Being smaller, a smaller dose may be advised. Best of luck. Charlie
Heidi--I had never heard of ODD. I'll definitely look into it with my pediatrician at our upcoming appt.!

Heidi Burkhalter said:
I have a daughter, 11, that has absence seizures and she is also on depakote. Before she was on depakote she had huge behavior problems, frustration and crying etc. We are see a neurospychiatrist which I would recommend to do. Also do you know what part of his brain is affected that may help you know more what direction to take as far as meds go and how you handle the behavior issue. He may have not just epilepsy but also ODD or depression, anxiety etc. I believe that is the seizures are in the frontal lobes that effects behavior so it's something to find out.
Tara--I completely understand how you feel. We just switched schools and he has already been to the principal's office 3 times for not being able to control himself in class, cussing on the playground, making odd noises to distract the other students, etc. He is honestly a sweet kid and truly doesn't mean to upset anyone. I feel horrible that I cannot control it or get him to stop--I hate the thought that his teachers may think less of me or him, more importantly, because he keeps getting in trouble. We need to talk and vent to each other!

Tara Wright said:
I can relate to your issues ,my son is 7 1/2 and attends moesefield.His teacher everyday she's telling me that his behavior is hard to bare,He can't sit still,he is always not paying attention,or he is hitting the other kids in the class.He is also on the depakote and some other meds,sometimes I just get tried of hearing about my son behavior and there's some kids who can't help the way they behave.And all I can do is just cry.
HI All,
My 9 year old daughter has been on Zarontin for a year for Absence, and I think we are pretty lucky there has not been any huge aggressive behaviors, but we do have a lot of tears, which could totally be 9 year old hormones!
Vickie
I recently asked my son's ped-neuro if his "difficult" behavior is related to his epilepsy (absence seizures) or to his medication (Depakote). She did not know. I get the impression that very little is known about the connection between behavior and absence seizures in children. I've tried to do research on it. Perhaps I'm going about it the wrong way as I have yet to find answers. I joined this e-community with hope that I will glean information re: the connection between epilepsy and behavior. I feel as if I am not serving my son well these days, and it concerns me deeply.

He was diagnosed with absence seizures in July 2009 at the age of 5. The neuro thinks he has been having seizures for a "very long time" but I only recall seeing staring spells during the past year. (Maybe this is a "long time," in terms of childhood absence.) In any case, his EEG and seizure pattern does not fit into a tidy diagnostic box -- they are simple and atypical in nature. Apparently, his seizures start slightly on the left side. Then they spike like absence. Then left side lingers a bit. Lately, his seizures appear a bit like partials except for the high frequency during the day and the lack of confusion afterward. (They have become worse, in my opinion.)

I wonder, what are the potential ramfications (behavior) of having more activity on the left side during an absence sz? (As an aside, I notice that when he sleeps, his left eye is ever-so-slightly open...)

He is extremely intelligent and socially adept. No issues there. However, he is impossible for me to discipline! Unlike his sister, he is very impulsive and takes risks without any awareness of potential consequences. He still runs wild in parking lots for example. Two days ago he played with my camera (a no-no) and erased every photo taken at his 6th birthday party. No remorse. When he was 2, he discovered the dryer vent on the outside of the house, put a hose in it and turned it on, full blast. Funny! But I mention it because he still behaves this way -- doing things w/out any sense of what might happen (cause and effect). Not a day goes by when he doesn't get into trouble -- at home or school. Perhaps he's just a typical boy with a lot of curiosity. Perhaps I am reading too much into his behavior. But he also has an intense temper. And he doesn't cope with disappointment. It's either his way or not. It's a real problem.

I do think it is much worse since he started Depakote. In fact, the day he took 3 pills in one day, he climbed a trellis onto the garage roof and started running around with his slippery rain boots on. He was wild -- completely out of control. Violent temper. His sister was locking herself in the bathroom to escape. He complained of being "too hot" to sit still. The ped-neuro told me to drop the lunch-time dose. It helped. But now he is way below therapeutic levels -- having seizures as often as 1/5 minutes.

I also wonder if sleep is an issue. The neuro said he had nocturnal seizures during his 1-hour EEG. And the Depakote has not made sleep any easier. I suppose any sleep-deprived little boy would behave in similar ways.

We (my children and I) are also going through a very difficult time. If not for the epilepsy, I would attribute some of his behavior to abandonment, loss of home/neighbors, etc. We are going to see a counselor who can help us to cope with these life changes. But at the moment, we are in survival mode, which I guess is not the best place to be when a child has a chronic medical condition. I worry -- are the circumstances of our life making his epilepsy worse? Stress is a trigger for seizures in my son. You just have to look at him sideways and he zones out.

Anyway, thanks for bringing this topic up. I needed to share as it is a daily concern of mine. I feel so helpless yet I am supposed to help him.

Oh, I'm going to start introducing Lamictal. Tried to get the brand name yesterday -- as recommended -- but it cost $400 with insurance ($1,000 without) so I had to order generic. He had a rash on Zarontin so we will introduce Lamictal VERY slowly (Stevens Johnson Syndrome).

RSS

Terms of Service Update 6/4/2012

We have updated our Terms of Service for eCommunities Groups.

© 2014   Created by EF Admin.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service