You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, you'll probably be referred to a doctor who specializes in nervous system disorders (neurologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for the appointment.
What you can do
- Write down any symptoms your child is experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to seizures.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements you or your child takes.
- Write down questions to ask the doctor.
Preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For absence seizure, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of these symptoms?
- Are there other possible causes?
- What tests are needed? Do these tests require special preparation?
- Is this condition temporary or long lasting?
- What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
- What side effects might I expect from treatment?
- Are there alternatives to the treatment you're suggesting?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- Can my child also develop the grand mal type of seizure?
- How long will my child need to take medication?
- Do I need to restrict activities? Can my child participate in physical activities, such as soccer, football and swimming?
- Do you have brochures or other printed material I can take? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask any other questions you have.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
June 03, 2014
- When did the symptoms begin?
- How often have the symptoms occurred?
- Can you describe a typical seizure?
- How long do the seizures last?
- Is your child aware of what happened after the seizure?
- Korff CM. Childhood absence epilepsy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 3, 2014.
- Absence seizures. The Epilepsy Foundation. http://www.epilepsy.com/learn/types-seizures/absence-seizures. Accessed April 3, 2014.
- Stafstrom CE, et al. Pathophysiology of seizures and epilepsy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 3, 2014.
- Glauser TA, et al. Ethosuximide, valproic acid, and lamotrigine in childhood absence epilepsy. New England Journal of Medicine. 2010;362:790.
- Jentink J, et al. Valproic acid monotherapy in pregnancy and major congenital malformations. New England Journal of Medicine. 2010;362:2185.
- Safety information: Stavzor (valproic acid) delayed release capsules. http://www.fda.gov/safety/medwatch/safetyinformation/ucm360495.htm. Accessed April 3, 2014.