Nearly a quarter of teens with autism thirteen and older are likely to have some form of seizures or epilepsy. It can be challenging to tell if your teen with autism is having a seizure as the symptoms of autism and seizures are very similar. To help reduce the symptoms of seizures and epilepsy, a medication management program can help your teen son or daughter reduce the risk of seizures and help reduce other symptoms of autism.
At Camp Worth, our medical staff works alongside our therapists to give your teen son or daughter a better chance at reducing the risks of seizures. Our team is familiar with the signs of autism and epilepsy and can help you recognize the signs when they occur. If you believe your teen with autism is suffering from seizures, epilepsy, or other neurological disorders, call 855.915.2545 or complete our online form today to speak with our support staff about how our treatment center can help.
The Relationship Between Autism, Seizures, and Epilepsy
Seizures occur when there is an abnormal burst of electrical signals that interrupt normal brain function. This can occur in one or multiple parts of the brain, and seizures get their name from the area of the brain where they originate. Common types of seizures associated with autism include:
- Partial or focal seizures
- Generalized tonic-clonic seizures
- Febrile seizures
If your teen with autism experiences random seizures, it may be an indication that they have epilepsy.
Epilepsy can come from a genetic disorder, head trauma, or stroke. The link between autism and seizures is not well known. Researchers are still trying to determine if autism leads to seizures, seizures lead to autism, or they coexist. Brain scans of teens with autism have shown to have similar electroencephalogram (EEG) readings to those with epilepsy.
Some of the common symptoms of epilepsy and autism include:
- Repetitive behavior
- Cognitive delay
- Impaired social interactions
- Aggressive or irritable behavior
- Staring episodes
- Stiffening of muscles
- Rhythmic shaking or twitching
- Lack of attention
Medications to Treat Autism and Seizures
If your teen with autism also is diagnosed with seizures or epilepsy, getting them on a medication management program can help ease their symptoms and allow them to lead a healthy and happy life. A medical professional will manage your teen’s medication to ensure they get the maximum effect from their dosage. As they progress and symptoms change, so will their medication.
Since autism and seizures have similar symptoms, medications can also improve other symptoms of your teen’s autism. Some of these medications include:
- Anti-convulsants – Medications like valproate, lamotrigine, and levetiracetam have shown to be effective for treating seizures in teens with autism.
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors – SSRIs treat depression in those with a chemical imbalance, which is common in ASD and epilepsy. They have shown to be very effective in treating depression in teens with autism and reduce the risk of seizures when proper dosing is administered.
- Anti-anxiety medication – Anxiety is a significant trigger for epileptic seizures. Reducing the stressful feelings that some situations can create reduces your chances of having a seizure and any negative behavior that anxiety typically creates.
Turn to Camp Worth for Effective Treatment of Autism and Epilepsy
At Camp Worth, our medication therapy program (MTM) works alongside your teen’s behavioral and educational programs to allow them to continue with their development. Our medical staff will closely monitor your teen’s symptoms and make adjustments as necessary to ensure they receive the greatest chances at reducing their seizures. We use pharmacogenomic testing to ensure the correct dosage for your teen’s individual needs.
If your teen is dealing with autism and seizures, call 855.915.2545 or complete our online form today to learn more about our medication management program and behavioral therapy programs that can benefit teens ages 11 – 17.