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Symptoms seem like absence seizure while EEG shows partial seizure of left temporal lobe

We brought our 6 year old son to the pediatrician last month because we were concerned he may be having absence seizures.  He has staring spells usually brought on during stressful situations or when there are high expectations of him (ie: in middle of basketball game, when the teacher expects him to work one on one and answer reading questions, etc).  In addition to the staring, he also has had the occasional eye flutter and eye rolling episode.  He is struggling in school, when reading he will one minute know the word and the next be confused. He refuses to speak to his teacher when she tries to do skill tests.  She says he stares at the ceiling (not sure if he is having a seizure or just being stubborn).  He is super clingy and cuddly.  He still has wetting accidents every night (sleeps in a pull-up). 

The pediatrician sent him for an EEG and we were given an appt with a neurologist.  The EEG was a sleep deprived one.  It showed partial seizures of the left temporal lobe.   During the EEG, he did not have any of the symptoms we are seeing at home.  The neurologist did a complete exam, listened to the symptoms and our concerns.  The conclussion was his symptoms do not match that of partial seizures.  We have not noticed any lip smacking, arm/leg movements or spasms. (nothing at night either- ruled out benign rolandic seizures). His most obvious symptom is the staring.  So the next step is an MRI and a 24 hour inpatient EEG. 

So my main question is can EEG confirmed partial seizures have only absence seizure symptoms (ie: No spasms / twitches / moving limbs)?  Anyone have any experience with this?  I have read so many stories and it seems like all of them include at least one other classic partial seizure symptom in addition to staring.  Also, could these seizures be the cause of his learning troubles at school?  Anyone else see staring spells brought on by stressful situations? 

Thanks so much for your help.  


Words: staring spells (often absence), short term memory/other memory difficulties (often absence), staring at the ceiling (eyes muscles contract in that direction), refuses to speak to teacher (possible speech arrest/difficulty speaking); ADHD Inattentive, central auditory processing disorder (CAPD); for general insights into the kind of behavior described (no cures): Nerves In Collision book by Walter C. Alvarez, M.D. and the How To (understand) Hyperactivity book (1981) about ADHD Inattentive, auditory processing, and modern nutrition by C. Thomas Wild. Both books (Alvarez, Wild) can provide insights here and there (no cures).

Hi jody3978,

I wonder if you have an update to your son's condition?  I think I am dealing with the same situation but my son was diagnosed with Complex Partial Seizures.  He is having similar learning difficulties as you describe with your son.  I am going today to meet with the neurologist to see what he can do to help us.


Hope all is well thanks!


DO not change diet until you see neurologist. Sleep deprived is for seeing if they are having seizures when they are sleeping and usually the first step prior to 24-hour video per insurance ( I do not recommend doing it at home either.

Most people don't know to ask for this. Bring it it up don't be shy. My son has partial seizures in 3 areas of left hemisphere and sometimes occipital.

Ask for a 24 hour video EEG.

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