What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is not a disease! It is a neurological condition characterized by sudden bursts of electrical energy in the brain which results in a seizure.

There are over 40 different kinds of seizures which take a variety of forms.  Some appear as a brief stare, or unusual movement of the body.  Others manifest as changes in awareness or convulsions.  While many people attain partial or total control of their epilepsy through medications, about 40 % do not.

While some frequently identified causes of epilepsy include head injuries, infectious diseases, chemical imbalances, strokes and tumors, over half the origins remain unknown.  Epilepsy can also affect anyone at any age, although it tends to most often strike during childhood and the senior years.

An average of 34 Canadians learn they have epilepsy every day.  Over 300,000 Canadians live with it, while in York Region alone, about 11,000 people are affected by seizure disorders.

The single greatest barrier facing people with epilepsy is a lack of understanding and awareness.  People with seizure disorders are simply not "epileptics". Most are able to live rich and productive lives. Still, some suffer from overprotection, isolation and discrimination which prevents them from being full participants in society.


Seizure Disorders
There has been some publicity lately regarding persons with autism benefiting from Assistance Dogs, either with social help or in dealing with seizures, among other issues. Click here for more information. To match your child's seizures on a profile, check out the site "Epilepsy in Young Children".
Clinical Trials - Epilepsy
Epilepsy Canada
Epilepsy Foundation of America
Epilepsy Resource Centre
TEACCH A Review of Seizure Disorders and Landau-Kleffner Syndrome in the Autistic Population
Ketogenic Diet
Family Village: Ketogenic Diet
BBB Autism's info on Landau-Kleffner Syndrome
A Child's Guide to Epilepsy
Autism, Puberty and the Possibility of Seizures
Epilepsy and Landau Kleffner Information and Sites
If you have a seizure, does it mean you have epilepsy?

First Aid for Seizures

Keep calm; you cannot stop a seizure once it starts.
Ease the person to the floor and loosen tight or restrictive clothing.
Move any sharp or hot objects that might injure the person.
Check for a medic alert bracelet or wallet card.
DO NOT put anything in the person's mouth. It is not possible to swallow the tongue.

After the Seizure

Turn the person on their side to allow excess saliva to flow from the mouth.
Stay with the person and be supportive and reassuring.
If the person seems confused, offer to call a taxi or friend.
If the seizure lasts beyond 6 to 10 minutes or if seizures occur repeatedly, treat this as a medical emergency and call and ambulance.


15: July 30, 2002

Please note: BBB Autism Support Network is not responsible for information found on the websites we are linked to.