Epilepsy and Language Development Problems

Tamera - posted on 10/06/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )

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My daughter just started kindergarten. I had a meeting with the speech therapist this morning. The therapist gave her a brief test and now she wants permission to do further testing on her for speech and language. I knew my daughter had some speech problems but I didn't know she had language problems. The speech therapist and the teacher said she is having trouble when asked to do something that has multiple steps to it. She gets frustrated and shows signs of anxiousness. She also cannot repeat back a three sentence story. I was thinking this might have something to do with her epilepsy. Has anyone else experienced this? I know a child's brain is still developing so if she is having problems this can be corrected.

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Lindy - posted on 10/23/2010

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Tonya, the issue may be with his meds. When I told my doctor about her learning disabilities and how noticeable they were becoming, we made the decision to change medications. Some of the meds make them groggy or feel like they are in a fog. My daughter is old enough to tell us but she had been on the same meds for so long that she didn't realize she felt different until we changed meds!! So think about the medications, also getting him into some group play with other kids that have normal speech patterns. That might help. you might also want to think about the fact that even though you don't see them, he may be having more seizures. My daughter was tested 2 years ago, after a long time with no noticeable seizures, only to find out she had 30 in 24 hours. We were crushed. We didn't see one. There may be more going on, but I am sure that the epilepsy is the most likey culprit. take care

Tonya - posted on 10/22/2010

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My son has been having seizures since he was 8 months. He's now 22 months and can not say a single word. Not even mommy or daddy or no - nothing. I seems to understand most of what we say to him but doesn't respond if you ask him where's mommy or daddy. He's been getting speech therapy for about 3 months now and can do a few sign languages (about 5 or 6) but he still struggles with those. I'm worried that there is a bigger issue going on.

Carrie - posted on 10/19/2010

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My Carlee is 4. She didn't talk really until she started having siezures and was put on Keppra. She has photosensitive epilepsy. I say the seizure and meds are responsible for helping her develop language because she just started talking in full sentences after her first one and it continues once on meds. I think if the wave pattern off then it makes some of our kids language development slow or absent. I don't know...I am not a doctor...just a mom with experience and hypothisis...ha! Carlee still has language problems. I think it is directly linked to the epilepsy. Her receptive language is good...meaning she understands what is said but her expressive language is not good at all. She can't recall nouns Pronouns or anything that would help her describe anything. We are looking at Expressive Language Disorder.
Read everything you can get your hands on and start documenting everything. I thought she was deaf forever....had all kinds of testing but when she had her first seizure it was like her brain rewired!!!

Connie - posted on 10/19/2010

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Linda, Thanks for the reply. Lyla does not go to school anymore. Last year I pulled her out and started homeschooling with a help of a retired teacher. She repeated K and when I volunteered in her class I realized there was NO learning going on. She was very disrulptive and just all over the place. I felt in 1st grade they would crush her spirit so I pulled her out. She has come a long way but of course she's very behind. Her social skills are not en par with kids her age but she gets as much social as possible: PE with homeschoolers, art class, a social skills class with other kids and several friends in the neighborhood who come to swim, bounce on the trampoline and play with her. So yes I'm also not aiming for university for her and I am focusing on life skills, reading and numbers. I wish I could be in Lyla's head just for one day to know what she feels. We are doing the best we can and hope that she will grow up being a loving, independant person. To you and your daughter best of luck and I applaud you for getting involved in the school system and trying to make changes that will help children like ours.

Lindy - posted on 10/19/2010

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Connie, I don't really think that is her not doing what she is told, I think that maybe too many directions at one time. When my daughter was younger it was 2-3 word directions, one at a time. Stand in circle. Then after she got in the circle...."get the ball" etc. It is tough, I hope it isn't the school kicking her out of the classroom!! they need to rethink the way they are teaching her and talking to her. My daughter is doign great now, going to the movies with friends, hanging out. Our issue at the moment is making good choices, or remembering to call and check in, things like that. Cause and effect type stuff. The academics I am trying for living skills. Is she goign to a university? Probably not, but she will hold a job and be a productive citizen so I want to make sure she can live in that type of world. :)

Connie - posted on 10/19/2010

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My daughter also had speech problems and has lots of learning delays. Most of all she has a real problem following directions. She is not malicious or necessarily defiant but she just will not do what she is told. Does anyone have this problem? This makes school and any organized sport or activity very difficult and she has been kicked out of classes. If she would only follow directions I am sure learning would be a lot easier.

MARINA - posted on 10/19/2010

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My daughter has the same problem. She is now 9 years old and still has speech problems. It has improved tremendously but she still doesn't talk like a 9 year old. She has been in speech therapy since preschool.

Lindy - posted on 10/18/2010

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oh boy, does epilepsy ever have a part in this. You are living my life of about 7 years ago. My daughter is now in 8th grade. When she was 4, she was diagnosed, but already have many speech issues and some learning disabilities. But we didn't know what. Some types of epilepsy can affect their short term memory. So what they learn today, might be gone tomorrow. Comprehension and following multiple steps were very difficult for her. Do you have an IEP for her? If not, talk to them about developing one for her. It can set goals for them to work with her, and get her some accomodations on her work. Like shorter directions, less work expected, etc. There are many things they can do to help her out. They can start out with her telling them about one thing on a page of the story, instead of 3 sentences about the whole story. I could go on and on. Besides having a child who has been there, done that, I am a curriculum modifier for kids with special needs and learning disabilities. So it is my job to help these kids learn in their own way...not our way. :)
if you need anything or want to talk, just email me..I don't mind at all.
lhollowca@aol.com
take care, and have faith, my daughter does still struggle, but she is a wonderful, beautiful 14 year old with many friends and a great life!

Chelle - posted on 10/16/2010

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Yes, my son has issues with speech. He is delayed and in speech therapy. He tested 7 months behind at the time. He also has apraxia, which basically he knows to say it but he can't figure out how to say it and so he has an issue with it going from his brain to his mouth. We do believe these issues are most likely from his epilepsy. Since starting meds he went from 10 words to 25 in 2 months! It was amazing!

KRYSTL - posted on 10/15/2010

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sorry to hijack this but about the not being able to write their names, maybe its the muscles in the hands that arent working well enough yet. My son can write his name but has no muscle strength to push down hard enough for it to really show up. Just wondering.

KRYSTL - posted on 10/15/2010

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Yes, my son was just like this. They did the speech therapy in school and also the a thing called Vitastim for the throat muscles and that helped soooo much. He now says 6-9 word sentences. He is in the 1st grade now. I dont know where you live at but there are some places that can help with this here in Texas and I think they have other clinics else where in the USA. I have also heard that the "your baby can read if started early enough can help with children with epilepsy also. Hope this helped some. If you have any questions you and email me or mess. me.

Connie - posted on 10/13/2010

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Taryn my daughter was JUST the same. I would say a letter she would repeat it 5 times and then she couldn't tell me what letter it was, so frustrating! When I pulled her out of school she had done K twice and couldn't write her name. The gains since we started homeschooling is quite big. Best to you both!

Taryn - posted on 10/13/2010

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I have experienced this with my son he has epilepsy; I had in tested when he was about 3 yrs old and they said he tested fine; he's 5 now and also in kindergarten, and when we sit down to do homework it's gets frustrating for the both of us; because I will have him say a letter three or four times, but then when I say ok what is the letter he says I don't know, after he just said the letter three times, and so i talked it over with my mom, and we both agreed that it could have something to do with the seizures. And I know a childs brain is developing still, but my son has been in school since he was 2 1/2 and he should be able to atleast write his name or identify some letters by now.

Janice - posted on 10/13/2010

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My daughter is 20 and she is 9-10 yrs old mentally....very hard whenb she wants to do things that other 20 yrs old s are doing. she has contstant seizures and now they are getting more prevalent at night while she is sleeping

Janice - posted on 10/13/2010

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my daughter is now 20 and she cannot comprehend more then one thing at a time--if it is multi-steps you have to mention one step at a time or she will also get frustrated..

Connie - posted on 10/13/2010

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My daughter's speech was very delayed. She has dev delays in general and she always had abnormal electrical activity but no documented seizures until last month. She has not been with meds until now. I wonder about seizures and delays. I think you're right it does affect them more than we know. She's 8 now and is doing 1st grade level work but she's ariculate, very social, loving, great. I did pull her out of school and I homeschool her with the help of a retired teacher. Her main problem in K was following directions and she was very disruptive. We went through the IEPs etc etc but to no avail. I started volunteering in her class and saw that school was a complete waste of time with no learning going on. Past K the school would have crushed her spirit. She is now paying attention, doing much better and always progressing so my recommendation is make sure you know what the school is doing and make sure they do as much as possible. Get in the class cause the teachers, etc were very loving, very accomodating but in the class it was not good. At the same time, your child might just be develping a little slower in speech and she will catch up in no time. Good luck!

Danielle - posted on 10/07/2010

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I have a 12 year old daughter who experienced the same thing as you described with speech therapy. It actually was a big help in her school, because I suspected learning disabilities and the teachers at the school disagreed and made excuses why my daughter couldn't (or wouldn't as they said) do the work. It was actually her speech therapist who finally convinced the school that she needed to be in the PreVocational class instead of mainstream class. I do not know if her problems and immaturity (she is 12 but behaves on a 6 or 7 year old level) were caused by the seizures or medications or a combo of the two. I suspect that the Phenobarbital she took for 5 years devastatingly delayed her brain development. She still stammers sometimes and has trouble gathering her thoughts, but again I believe it has to do with her MR and your child's could just be a speech problem. I definitely suggest that you allow the speech therapist to work with your child.

Virginia - posted on 10/07/2010

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Tamera.I have a 30 yr. old son that has had epilepsy since birth.He can not speak plainly,and he can only print his name.Actually I blame alot of his difficulties on the schools he went to because they ignored him instead of working with him.Watch and make sure the school is actually working with your daughter with the rest of her learnings other than the speech therapy.My son gets upset so easily because I still have problems understanding him at times

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