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Can a child possibly have Tourettes, ADHD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Autism? How to deal with it?

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Practicing since : 2001
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When my son was 4 yrs old, he had a seizure where he stared straight ahead and his right hand and arm started going up and down continuously slapping his right knee. It lasted for quite a few minutes and when he returned to normal, he was shaken up (obviously knew that something had gone on) and couldn’t write or remember how to spell his name etc for quite a few hours afterwards. The morning after the seizure, he was never the same (prior to this seizure, he had only been a bit of a worrier). After the seizure, he appeared disabled and mentally handicap. His thinking would get "stuck" and he wouldn’t be able to do anything like brush his teeth or get changed etc. He would tap on things and count a hundred times and not be able to move from where he is standing. He would do head swooping as well. He would also be extremely hyperactive and sometimes aggressive. About 4 yrs past and he is now 100 times worse. He also has tics like clearing his throat, jaw opening, excessive eye blinking, excessive worrying, excessive OCD and ODD. He can’t do ANYTHING without counting. He is aggressive, and a lot of the time, he acts like he is going crazy, throwing himself into the wall, telling me that he wants to be normal. It takes up to 2 hours to get out of the house because of his OCD. The school cannot deal with him despite having numerous resources and extra help and neither can I because I am a single mother. The Psychiatrist put him on Prozac after meeting him for an hour and it acted like speed within his body so he was put in a Psych Ward for 2 days. He is now scheduled to go in for an 8 week program at the BC Children’s Hospital but I feel that he is not being properly diagnosed. The specialist that saw XXXXXXX a few years ago never took anything seriously until I finally went to him recently and asked him to get XXXXXXX help. He told me in the past that XXXXXXX has this: Seizures (lots in his sleep – found on EEG X 2), Tourettes, ADHD, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Myclonic (?) Seizures, Autism. That’s a lot of things for one little guy to have. I feel that maybe his seizures in his sleep are harming his brain because all of these issues that he has, I feel are out of his control and not behavioural. The psych ward put him on Respridone (sp) – antipsychotic medication at a low dose for the last week. It doesn’t seem to be helping. Maybe if his seizures in his sleep were controlled then we might be able to deal with some of these other issues. Please give me an idea of what might be going on so that I am not at the mercy of the Psychiatrists at the hospital.
Posted Tue, 24 Apr 2012 in Epilepsy
Answered by Dr. Shiva Kumar R 13 hours later

Thanks for the query.

From the details given to me by you it looks to me like he is suffering from myoclonic epilepsy of childhood with probable epileptic encephalopathy. In addition he also has disabling psychiatric problems.

Epilepsy and psychiatric problems often co-exist and has to be treated separately.

So I personally feel you need to be in touch both with the psychiatrist as well as a child neurologist who is good in treating childhood epilepsy. If there are continuous seizures or epileptiform discharges going on in sleep it needs to be treated with medications as these can cause cognitive problems in the child.

I am sorry you are dealing with this frustrating concern. The bottom line is that you need to arrange an appointment with your Pediatric Epileptologist to solve the issue with proper medication and proceed further based on the results.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. In case of any doubt, I will be available for follow ups.

Wish you good health.


Dr Shiva Kumar R
Neurologist & Epileptologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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