It is estimated that between 25%-30% of those diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder will suffer at least one seizure before the onset of puberty.
Varying in degree and intensity, these incidents can be incredibly traumatic for
parents to witness, particularly if it’s a first-time episode.
Unfortunately, on Sunday night, Jenny McCarthy’s son suffered one, as reported through her Twitter account:
It’s unknown how severe the seizure was, but McCarthy’s son, Evan, was diagnosed with autism in 2005 and has a history of them, even requiring medication to control them at one time. It’s unclear if he is currently taking any anti-seizure meds.
For many parents of children with autism, seizures often manifest during a sickness such as the flu, common cold or stomach virus, but they can also strike at any time and without warning.
When our son had his first seizure, it was a very traumatic experience as I witnessed him violently convulsing for over two minutes, all while he turned blue in the face. With a lack of awareness about what was happening, I felt completely helpless about what to do at the time.
If your child or loved one is unfortunate enough to suffer from a seizure, here are some important things to keep in mind:
• Remove any nearby objects that will cause bodily injury
• Protect the person’s head with a pillow, cushion, towel, or any other soft object
• Carefully and gently place the person on his or her side
• Do not attempt to move the victim to another location
• Do not put anything is the person’s mouth, including any water or fluids while the seizure is still occurring
• Most importantly, stay calm. Witnessing a seizure can be extremely frightening and traumatic, especially when it happens to a loved one
Our thoughts and prayers are with Ms. McCarthy and her family, and we wish Evan a full and speedy recovery.