Published by: Psychology Today
Written by: Michael A. Ellis
Two recent studies will undoubtedly shock individuals and families affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These studies show a much earlier age of death in those with ASD as compared with the general population.
One study, published in the American Journal of Public Health in April 2017, finds the life expectancy in the United States of those with ASD to be 36 years old as compared to 72 years old for the general population. They note that those with ASD are 40 times more likely to die from various injuries. About 28 percent of those with ASD die of an injury. Most of these are suffocation, asphyxiation, and drowning. The risk of drowning peaks at about 5 to 7 years old. As 50 percent of those with ASD wander, water safety and swim lessons are a must. GPS trackers are also available for purchase should a child wander or get lost. This makes finding the child or adult much easier and faster. Click here to read the rest of the story
Ring Chromosome 20 Syndrome is a chromosomal disorder that is the result of a ring that develops when a chromosome breaks in two places and the short arm of a chromosome has merged with the tip of the long arm.
This anomaly causes recurrent seizures during childhood. It is reported that the seizure can occur at anytime from during the day time to sleeping at night, it is very rare. In fact only 50 cases have been reported in research journals. However, this form of epilepsy can occur from birth to 17 years old.
What makes this rare form of seizures unique is that it does not respond to anti-epileptic medication. Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) tends to be successful as well as the Ketogenic diet in reducing the number of seizures.
Children diagnosed with Ring Chromosome 20 Syndrome typically experience several types of seizures including:
Non-convulsive status epilepticus
Frontal lobe seizures
Generalized tonic-clonic seizures
Signs and Symptoms
Children with Ring Chromosome 20 Syndrome generally face challenges in the area of behavioral, learning disabilities and intellectual disabilities. In some instances, children may display physical characteristics including slow growth, short stature and a small size head.
Signs and Symptoms of Intellectual Disability
Decrease learning ability
Delays in crawling
Difficulty solving problems
Lack of curiosity
Language and speech delays
Poor motor skills
Short attention span
Use short and simple sentences
use strategies for remembering such as clustering information together
Provide immediate feedback
Signs and Symptoms of learning disabilities
Difficulty recognizing non-verbal cues such as facial expression
A person is considered to have epilepsy if they meet any of the following conditions:
At least two unprovoked seizures occurring greater than 24 hours apart.
One unprovoked seizure and after two unprovoked seizures occurring over the next 10 years.
Diagnosis of an epilepsy syndrome.
A seizure is caused by a burst of abnormal activity in the brain. With a seizure, a person has change in awareness, behavior, body movement or sensation. A seizure can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. Seizures can take on many different forms and affect people in different ways.
Auras are often describes as a warning before the occurrence of a seizure. Not everyone experiences an aura. Some have described it as a change in feeling, sensation, thought or behaviors. this may include:
An overpowering smell.
Nausea or indigestion.
A rising/sinking feeling in the stomach.
a sleepy/dreamy feeling.
Types of Seizures
Generalized Tonic Clonic Seizures. Involves the entire brain. May also be referred to as a grand mal seizure. This occurs when abnormal electrical activity affects all or most of the brain. often the body will stiffen and then the person will lose consciousness and then the body will shake due to uncontrollable muscle contractions.
Absence Seizure– A brief loss of consciousness or awareness. It generally last only seconds and mainly occurs in children. Signs may include a blank stare, lip smacking and repeated blinking, chewing or hand movement.
Focal Seizures– The burst of electrical activity is contain in one part of the brain. In a simple focal seizure, you may have muscular jerks or strange sensations in one arm or leg. The person does not lose consciousness or awareness.
Babies who are born small for their age
Babies who have seizures in the first month of life
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Conditions with intellectual and developmental disabilities
Epilepsy is the 4th most common neurological disorder in the United States. With children, around 400,000 have epilepsy and most are able to control their seizures and lead normal lives. Dravet Syndrome is a rare form, of epilepsy found in children. Symptoms include, developmental delays, sleeping conditions, and chronic infections. Here are 20 facts you shoud know about Davet Syndrome.