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Autism and Seizures - Will Gene Research Save the Day?

Posted May 04 2009 12:00am

Emergency sign By Teresa Conrick
On Monday, 4/28/09 at 8:49 a.m. Central Time, I became a member of a group that I hoped I would never have to join, the "parent of an autistic child with seizures" group.
I was at my desk preparing for the day when the phone rang. It was Meg's teacher who spoke quietly as he said those words any parent would doubt, would hope was wrong -- he said, "Meg's having a seizure." My shocked response was ,"Oh no..are you sure?..she was just fine...?" But she was not fine now as he described a vivid picture of my sweet, 16-year-old, hunched over in her seat on the little yellow school bus, drool coming from her mouth and not responding to her name. I would find out later from the bus aide that before I had even received the call, Meg's eyes rolled back, the universal sign that this is a SEIZURE and has the ability to damage or kill its victim. To describe all that happened from that moment forward is a blur of actions and feelings: fear - driving - crying - bargaining -  fear  - anger - questioning - fear - hoping.....
We called the ambulance when I finally made it to her as Megan's eyes and body were still not her own.   She looked scared, confused and unable to move well.  It was all a bad dream and soon I would wake up to Meg laughing and running to me. But I never woke up.  Our four hour odyssey in the ER included blood work, a cat scan, EKG, and an anti-nausea IV.  There was nothing abnormal in the results -- nothing that would explain why a 16-year-old with an autism diagnosis, who had never had a seizure, would have one now, at this age, and with such intensity. 

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