Seizures in a Non-communicative Child

Anna Tielsch-Goddard, MSN, CPNP-PC


J Pediatr Health Care. 2010;24(4):270-274. 

In This Article


This child's case has been followed by the neurology department since he first presented with symptoms of autism at 2 years of age. He demonstrated early signs of pervasive developmental disorder at age 2 years and continued to have marked impairment in verbal communication, although he has some language skills and can communicate with his parents through rudimentary sign language. He avoids eye contact and frequently repeats words he hears from his parents. Consistent with the autistic spectrum, the child exhibits repetitive body movements and behavior patterns and has sensory integration difficulties for which he receives occupational therapy. He has not shown any signs of aggression toward himself or others.

He was born full term with an unremarkable birth and neonatal history. The patient showed delays with gross and fine motor skills as well as language and social and behavioral skills at 18 months. His mother denies a history of head or spinal cord trauma, and he has never had meningitis, encephalitis, or varicella. He is not toilet trained, and his mother reports no diarrhea or constipation. He does not take any medication and has no known allergies. His immunizations are up to date and he has never had surgery or been under anesthesia.

Early childhood intervention therapies have been provided at school. He lives at home with his mom, dad, and an older male sibling in Texas. His diet consists of macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, hamburgers, and sausage. He requires his food to be cut into small pieces or ground. He is minimally active outside and enjoys watching cooking shows on television with his grandparents. He has visited his grandparents, who live in a rural area in Mexico, for several weeks every summer since the age of 2 years.

The family history is negative for any neurologic symptoms or disease including epilepsy, cerebral palsy, neurodegenerative disorders, neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis, or headaches.


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