The connection between autism and epilepsy has been established but has yet to be fully understood. Roughly 1/3 of patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) develop epilepsy, and up to 20% of young children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD have been shown to develop epilepsy in adulthood. For the families of children diagnosed with these comorbid conditions the challenges and concerns are also multiplied.
On this week’s episode of Seizing Life, we speak with author, journalist, and mother Liane Kupferberg Carter. Liane’s son Mickey was diagnosed with autism at 5 years old, and several years later received an additional diagnosis of epilepsy. Liane has written extensively about her family’s experiences in her memoir Ketchup is My Favorite Vegetable: A Family Grows Up with Autism, and her articles and essays have been featured in the New York Times Parenting section, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Huffington Post, and Parents. Liane discusses the difficult and frustrating road that led to Mickey’s diagnoses, how the words of one doctor gave her back her hope, and how her family has navigated the dual diagnosis of autism and epilepsy to help Mickey live his best life. She also offers advice to fellow parents of children with disabilities, and shares information on a wonderful new employment/educational/social program in which Mickey, now 28 years old, is involved.
To hear leading theories on why so many children with autism develop epilepsy, please see our webinar The Epilepsy-Autism Connection: Research, Diagnosis, and Treatment.
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