Ohtahara Syndrome


What is Ohtahara Syndrome?

Ohtahara Syndrome is a rare type of seizure that affects infants and newborns. It is generally diagnosed before the age of 3 months. After several months, seizures may turn into West Syndrome or Lennox- Gestaut Syndrome.

Other Known Names
  • OS
  • Early Infantile Epileptic Encephalopathy
  • Early Infantile Epileptic Encephalopathy with Suppression Burst
  • Brain malfunctions
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Certain gene mutations
  • Tonic spasm
  • Focal spasm (partial) motor seizures
Diagnosis and Testing
  • EEG- records the electrical activity in the brain
  • MRI
  • Bloodwork
  • May be resistant to epilepsy medication. The following medication may be used: Phenobarbital, Clobazam or Vigabatrin.

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment or medical condition.




Asperger’s Syndrome Resources and Information

What is Asperger’s Syndrome?

According to NINDS, Asperger syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized be an impairment in language and communication skills and repetitive behavior with typically an IQ of 70 and above.

Other Known Names
  • High Functioning Autism
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Aspies
  • Autistic
  • Neurodiverse
Comorbid Attributes
  • Difficulty in forming friendships
  • A preference for playing alone or with older children or adults
  • May be socially awkward
  • May not understand conventional social rules
  • Limited eye contact
  • May not understand the use of gestures or sarcasm
  • Obsessive preoccupation with objects
  • Normal physical growth and development
  • Need for sameness.
  • 1.5:1 to 16:1 per 1,000
  • Males more likely to have Asperger’s syndrome than females
  • Females with Autism Spectrum Disorder (high functioning may be underdiagnosed
  • All racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups are impacted.
  • Leo Kanner, an Austrian-American psychiatrist in 1943 published a paper entitled, Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact, which described 11 children who were highly intelligent but displayed an ‘obsessive insistence on persistent sameness.’ He later named the condition- “early infantile autism.”
  • Hans Asperger’s, a Viennese child psychologist published the first definition of Asperger’s syndrome in 1944. He noted in four boys, a pattern f behavior and abilities including a lack of empathy, little ability to form friendships and clumsy movement.
Online Community Support

Wrong Planet– A web community designed for individuals (and parents/professionals) with autism, Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, PDD and other neurological differences. The website provides a discussion forum, articles, how-to-guides and therapy services.

Teaching Strategies – The following articles are for teachers and service providers on techniques and strategies when teaching or providing services to a child with Asperger’s Syndrome.

6 steps to success for Asperger’s syndrome

AS teaching strategies

Classroom tip for students with Asperger’s Syndrome

Teaching Asperger’s students: 32 tips for educators

Teaching strategies for Asperger students


Asperger/Autism Network (AANE). Founded in 1996 by a small group of concerned parents and professionals. AANE works with individuals, families and professionals and provides information, education, community support and advocacy.

Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association (AHA). AHA helps families and individuals become more informed self-advocates.

Selected Articles on Asperger’s Syndrome

A powerful identity, a vanishing diagnosis (New York Times)

Autism and Asperger’s not easily understood (Fort Madison Daily Democrat)

Autism can be an asset in the workplace, employers and workers find (NPR)

My lifelong struggle with Asperger’s (Policy.Mic)

Navigating life with Asperger’s (Voice of Muscatine)

Program created to help EMT’s with autistic patients (EMS1.com)

Unmasking Asperger’s syndrome (Business Standard)

What It’s like to live with autism as an adult (Good Housekeeping)

Articles For Parents of Children with Asperger’s Syndrome

8 tips for parents of kids with Asperger’s syndrome

Ask Dr. Sears: Coping with Asperger’s syndrome

Raising a child with Asperger’s syndrome

Understanding Asperger’s syndrome disorder- Parent Guide

Lennox- Gastaut Syndrome

What is Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome?

Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome is a type of epilepsy where a person may experience multiple types of seizures including tonic (stiffening of the body), atonic (brief loss of muscle tone), and atypical absence  (starring). This type of seizure often begins during infancy and early childhood.

Statistics and Facts

4% of children with epilepsy are diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome with more of a prevalence in males than females. Most mortality rates are due to accidents.

Other Known Names



Symptoms often include frequent seizures and multiple types of seizures including:

  • Atonic seizures (drop attacks)- a sudden loss of muscle tone and limpness, a person may suddenly fall which can lead to head injuries.
  • Tonic seizures- the body stiffens and can last for up to a minute. Will generally occur when the person is asleep.
  • Abnormal seizures- a period pf unconsciousness where the person has no memory of the episode.


  • Abnormal development of the brain cortex
  • Congenital infections
  • Stroke
  • Trauma
  • Lack of oxygen during birth
  • Encephalitis
  • Meningitis
  • Tuberous Sclerosis
  • Seizures that start in infancy referred to as West syndrome

Diagnostic and Test

  • Clinical evaluation
  • Detailed patient history
  • Complete physical and neurological evaluation
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Anti-epileptic drugs (AED’s)
  • Dietary therapy
  • Surgery (VNS therapy)


Disclaimer: this article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment or medical condition.

West’s Syndrome


What is West’s Syndrome?

The average onset generally begins at an average age of 6 months. Symptoms may include a pattern of an infant bending forward with a stiffening of the body, including the arms and the legs. Each episode generally last for a few seconds. These episodes typically occurs I clusters that can last up to 20 minutes.

  • Trauma
  • Brain malfunctions
  • Infections
  • Down syndrome
  • Tuberous sclerosis complex
Statistics and Facts

West syndrome occurs 1 in every 2,000 to 6,000 live births, which peak between the ages of 4 and 7 months old. 90 percent of incidences occur before the age of 1 year. West syndrome accounts for approximately 30 percent of incidences involving infants. Boys are more likely to be affected than girls.

Other Know Names
  • Generalized Flexion Epilepsy
  • Infantile Epileptic Encephalopathy
  • Infantile Myoclonic Encephalopathy
  • Jackknife Convulsions
  • Massive Myoclonia
  • Infantile Spasms
  • Salaam Spasms

Initially discovered in the 1840’s by Dr. William James West when he noticed his own son, James E. West showed the characteristics of “bobbings” that caused a complete heaving of the head towards his knees and then immediately relaxing to the upright position. Dr. West originally coined the phenomena as “Salaam Tics”.

Diagnosis and Testing
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • A physical and neurological exam
  • Computer Tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Blood Test
  • Urine Test
  • Wood Lamp (for the purpose determining if tuberous sclerosis is a possible diagnosis)
  • Steroid therapy by injection into a muscle or prednisone by mouth
  • A seizure medication called Sabril
  • Ketogenic diet


Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions.

April Special Needs Article Links

Welcome to the April article links and resources. These are articles that I  tweeted during the month of April on special needs and developmental disability topics. I tweet articles and links everyday.

5 Things That Helped Me Parent a Child with Sensory Processing Disorder (The Mighty)

6 Resources for Working with Scouts with Autism (Scouting Magazine)

A Brief History of Autism Research (The Atlantic)

How Minecraft is Helping Children with Autism Make New Friends (New Scientist)

My Son’s Autism Changed Everything- Even Our Church (Christianity Today)

Peer Mentoring Helps Students with Autism Learn Social Skills ( Miami Herald)

Tactile Sensitivities with Sensory Processing Disorder (growinghandsonkids.com)

The Correlation Between ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder (Psych Central)

What are the Signs of Sensory Processing Disorder? (Sensory Spectrum)

Why are Researchers Missing Signs of Autism in Girls? (PRI)