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What is an 'absence'?

(8 Posts)
beccaboo Tue 08-Mar-05 21:01:23

Hoping someone can tell me what an 'absence' looks like.

Ds' key worker rushed up to me this afternoon and said they'd been really worried about him. Apparently at lunch time he had gone into a sort of trance for 6-7 minutes, staring into space with his mouth open. She said he was dribbling. BUT she said he was still responding to what she said, just in an odd way. She was spoon feeding him his lunch (usually no problems doing it himself) and he was eating it.

I'm freaking out a bit in case there's something going on with his brain. But he does have a heavy cold, and I've been watching him all afternoon - he is dribbling at home too, I think because he's having to breath through his mouth all the time.

Any advice appreciated.

Merlot Tue 08-Mar-05 21:07:45

No first hand experience of this beccaboo, but I used to have a friend at school who had absences:-

She would sort of switch off for a minute or two and stare blankly (her eyebrow used to twitch as well) and then rejoin the conversation at the point she had left it without any recollection of the absence.

lekki Tue 08-Mar-05 22:42:17

hia lekki here , new to mumsnet, my dd's epilepsy speacialist told me that when they are staring if u tap them on the shoulder and they dont respond then it could be an absence. u can have him take an eeg to find out,or like u side he could be ill, hard to say.

jmb1964 Tue 08-Mar-05 23:30:38

Doesn't really sound like an 'absence' to me, if he was responding... Best thing is to wait and see if anything like it happens again - and ask nursery to keep some sort of diary if they notice anything. Probably just a little boy feeling lousy - hope he picks up soon.

Pages Wed 09-Mar-05 07:01:02

Hi beccaboo

My DS1 was diagnosed as having absence seizures at 9 months old and was medicated for it for a year. It is a form of epilepsy also known as petit mal seizures, but it is very common in infants and they often grow out of it (DS1 has). It can be very hard to spot. With DS1 we noticed something wasn't quite right for a while but it is often quite subtle - we didn't really know if he was just a bit daydreamy - and sometimes you can bring them out of it, or get an odd kind of resopnse, so it's not always easy to tell. We found that waving a hand gently in front of his face wouldn't bring him out of it but if we kept shouting his name it sometimes would. Also, with absences for some reason they usually turn their head to the right, so that is often an indicator.

Don't be frightened - as I say they usually grow out of it and it is less dangerous than full fits in that they don't usually fall over and hurt themselves. I would advise you to keep an eye on him and get an EEG done, hopefully that will tell you the answer. I don't think the dribbling necessarily has any bearing if he's little (you don't say how old he is?) and it may just be that he was tired or thinking about something interesting!!

beccaboo Wed 09-Mar-05 22:31:42

Thanks everyone. I went to see the gp this morning, she thought it probably wasn't a seizure as they could get a response from him - although apparently he was responding strangely. She said dribbling could just be due to heavy cold.

Pages, he is 3years 3months, he has ASD and I think this can make chances of epilepsy higher. I'll be watching him like a hawk now, I'll look out for the head turning to the right and let nursery know too. As you say, maybe he was just thinking about something interesting!! Knowing him at the moment, it was probably the Mr Men

JaysMum Wed 09-Mar-05 23:59:01

Oh Beccaboo....does your ds like the Mr Men?????

beccaboo Thu 10-Mar-05 10:42:23

'Like' would definitely be an understatement .......

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