Autism and epilepsy

autistic seizures are common co morbidity

There seems to be a very strong connection between autism and seizures, or epilepsy.

Recent studies have linked both developmental neurological conditions, with some studies showing up to half of those diagnosed with autism also having seizures.

Autism has not been linked with specific types of siezures, all types of seizures may be experienced; but it has also been tied to several genetic syndromes which are also known to be related to epilepsy or seizures.

The fact that both seizures and autism are neurology based is where we are likely to find cause and effects. If you have been diagnosed with any genetic syndrome, look up the incidence of both autism in the syndrome, and of the incidence of seizures.

Only approximately 2 percent of the total population is likely to have seizures, but up to 46 percent of those diagnosed with autism ( in one study, many studies cite lower percentages from 6 percent to 33 percent) may have seizures. The disparity of study results may depend on age groups and other factors in the studies performed. Very young children or infants may not have seizures but develop them as they grow older, for example.

Much needs to be learned, and genetics is suspected to play its part.

Females seem to experience seizures more frequently than males. If you are searching for information suspecting autism diagnosis and you also experience seizures, this may be another signal to seriously explore possible autism as well.

2 thoughts on “Autism and epilepsy

  1. My brother has had a few obvious petite mal seizures over his lifetime (we are both in our 70’s). Maybe some other seizures that went undetected, for all we know. My other two siblings and I also have migraines, which seems related. The migraines aren’t all accompanied by headaches, can be primarily visual or vestibular. Both my parents had them, my dad had the horrible cluster headaches. All of us autistic, it seems. Interesting line of thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are so many moments of discovery as we sort through our history with new perspective of our own autism diagnosis. One of the best things I learned was that I was not alone, and that there is a group of others who understand and have had shared experiences and insights. What a relief to learn everything was not “all our fault” and that there are others with lifetimes of experiences to give insights and understanding. I am still having those “aha” moments 6 years from my first suspicion I might be autistic. It crossed my mind only yesterday that I had not known or suspected until my later 60s, so being 70 today I might continue to have to sort and understand, having many more incidents of understanding that finally click into place “aha” feels good. Sending best wishes, thanks for your comments!


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