Seizures while eating

Scott - posted on 04/27/2016 ( 2 moms have responded )

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Hello all, I am actually a male who is a 59 year old grandfather of a three year old girl. My son tells me that she has been having these odd behaviors that resemble seizures for about a year....but they initially thought she was just excited. She seems to have them a lot while eating and they last from three seconds to ten seconds. She lifts her arms above her head and sort of opens and closes her hands and then sighs loudly. They are now realizing what it could be, and have contacted a neurologist. I asked my son (who lives about 8 hours from me, so I have not witnessed this behavior yet) if she can communicate while having them and he says he's not sure, but when mom tries to talk to her, she doesn't seem to be getting through. He said that she has most of them while eating...sometimes as many as ten at the dinner table. I'm happy to hear from anyone who can give me input on this excellent forum. Thanks so much.
Scott
Coos Bay, Oregon

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Scott - posted on 04/27/2016

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HI Raye,
Thanks so much for your input......it's very interesting and I had not considered that. I'm glad that they are checking it out with a doctor, and I will let my son and daughter in law know what you said. Have a great day and thanks again!

Scott

Raye - posted on 04/27/2016

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Having her checked out by a doctor is the best thing. It could be anything from her being bored, to having a circulatory problem, to having some deeper disorder. There's no way to tell from these symptoms.

What it sounds like to me is having some unmet sensory need (similar to boredom), which can be found in all different types of children, even those without disorders. In fact, adults often engage in self-stimulatory behaviors. We have just found socially acceptable ways of doing them so that no one thinks we’re crazy. For example, when I have to sit in a long meeting, my foot starts shaking, I doodle on my paper, I take out a piece of gum to chew, etc. All of these things are because I have been sitting without much sensory input for too long and my body is asking to move. If you saw me at a meeting, you wouldn’t think anything of it because we all do little things like that. However, some children don’t know how to get those needs met in socially acceptable ways so they tend to engage in self-stimulatory behaviors that are less common in adults, such as hand flapping, rocking, etc. These behaviors usually tell us that the child is not getting the appropriate sensory input that she needs at that time. It could be that she just needs to get up and move. Or, it could mean that her sensory processing mechanisms are confused and aren’t receiving signals the way they should be.

Your son can help the child diminish her reliance on flapping and self-stimulatory behaviors by teaching her replacement behaviors that are less harmful, less distracting, and/or less noticeable to other people. She should still be checked out by a doctor to rule out other issues.

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