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Jul 13, 2012

Autism and Epilepsy

One of my biggest fears growing up was that I would have a child with epilepsy.  Seizures, for me, are the scariest thing I could ever encounter.  I remember when Garrett was diagnosed with autism, and I thought, well at least he doesn't have epilepsy.   Except I later learned, after a very traumatic ordeal and three days with him at the hospital, that he does have epilepsy.  According to, as many of 1/3 of people on the autism spectrum also have epilepsy.  Our family is the perfect example of that, with my three kids on the spectrum, and Garrett being the one in the three.
A couple of days ago, I had a total ADD moment and forgot to give Garrett his morning dose of his seizure medication.  Unfortunately, that was also a very hot day and the day that their school had a "field day" where they spent half the day outside playing games on the playground. Overheating can trigger seizures.  Normally, a missed dose isn't enough to trigger a seizure, but in combination with the heat...
Garrett seemed fine when he got home, but when his tutor went to get him for his turn for ABA therapy, he was seizing.  I won't go into the details, but even the dose of diastat that normally helps stop a seizure didn't work.  He was turning blue from oxygen deprivation, and I was balling my eyes out.  I'm grateful for my husband who was the strong one this time around and called 911, rode with Garrett in the ambulance and sat with me at the hospital.  I'm grateful for our tutor, Kim, who stayed with the other two kids until a replacement could come.  That was so nice of her, and I knew I didn't have to worry about them in her capable hands.  I'm grateful for my neighbors who were willing to help out, and for my sister, Michelle, who came and stayed the night.
Most of all, I'm grateful for modern medicine.  I'm grateful that my sweet little boy came out of his seizure and is okay.  I'm grateful that I have him in my life.  He brings me enormous amounts of joy and love and is one of my biggest blessings.


  1. How scary Christine! What a day for you. So glad Kevin was there and everyting turned out to be okay. Sending my love <3

  2. We love you all so much and are so grateful Garrett is okay. Love you!