Epilepsy Symptoms in Children

Epilepsy Symptoms in Children

Epilepsy Symptoms in Children
Copyright: radiantskies / 123RF Stock Photo

What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is commonly known as a condition where a person has unprovoked seizures more than 24 hours apart.  However, a task force of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) redefined epilepsy in 2005 as “a disease characterized by an enduring predisposition to generate epileptic seizures and by the neurobiological, cognitive, psychological, and social consequences of this condition.”  The emphasis here is that a seizure, by itself, is an event whereas epilepsy is a disease involving recurrent unprovoked seizures.

Epilepsy is diagnosed when they have multiple seizures that were not caused by some known and reversible medical condition like alcohol withdrawal or extremely low blood sugar, according to the Epilepsy Foundation.  While typically the cause is completely unknown, epileptic seizures may come from a brain injury or a family history of epilepsy.

People with epilepsy may have one or many different types of seizures and may demonstrate other neurological problems.  Many of the epilepsy symptoms in children mimic that of ADHD, Autism, Tourette Syndrome, and many other neurological disorders.  With epilepsy, though, one’s safety can be significantly impacted so it is vital that an accurate diagnosis be obtained so that the most effective treatment can be implemented.

Types of Seizures

Different Types of Seizures Copyright: rob3000 / 123RF Stock Photo

The Epilepsy Foundation reports that the human brain is the source of all epilepsy.  While the condition may impact several different parts of the body, the electrical events causing the seizure occur in the brain.

A seizure is a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain caused by complex chemical changes occurring in the nerve cells.  Usually there’s a balance of brain cells that either excite or stop other brain cells from sending messages.  Seizures cause an imbalance between the exciting and stopping activities which causes an imbalance and triggers electrical activity.  How a person’s seizure presents itself is dependent upon which messages were impacted by the seizure activity.


Epilepsy Symptoms in Children

Like most other medical conditions, seizures affect different people in different ways.  Not all seizures are noticeable or stereotypic, meaning they don’t all do what people expect them to do based on historical cases.  Different things can happen during the different phases of a seizure, but again, symptoms vary from person to person.

Also, epilepsy symptoms in children come in a wide variety that closely mimic ADHD and other neurological conditions.  The ADHD type symptoms that parents see may be side effects of other conditions, such as epilepsy.  For example, my son would not sleep through the night for many years and would often come to my bed at night and then would fall asleep in class each day.  A sleep specialist determined he was having hallucinations at night causing fears.  A sleep study found that he was having seizure activity and not reaching REM sleep at all.


Some people can feel a seizure is coming.  They may feel it days or hours before it happens which gives them some opportunity to prepare for it.  Not all epilepsy patients can feel it coming though.  Prodome is considered the beginning of a seizure but it isn’t actually part of the seizure.  This is where a person may experience feelings, sensations, or changes in behavior that may indicate a seizure is coming in the days or hours ahead.  It gives the person an opportunity to find safety, take their medication, or use a rescue treatment to try and prevent the seizure.  An aura is considered the very beginning of the seizure as it is actually part of the seizure.  Not everybody gets auras.  Like prodome, an aura is a feeling, sensation, or change in behavior that is similar each time a seizure occurs.  Auras can often occur without a seizure following and are considered to be a partial seizure.

Common Auras:
  • Headache

    Epilepsy Symptoms

    Epilepsy Symptoms
    Copyright: ralwel / 123RF Stock Photo

  • Smells
  • Sounds
  • Tastes
  • Nausea
  • Dizzy or Lightheaded
  • Fear/Panic
  • Racing Thoughts
  • Strange or Pleasant Feelings/Sensations
  • Numbness or Tingling
  • Visual Loss or Blurring
  • Loss of Ability to Speak
  • Deja Vu (a feeling of being there before)
  • Jamais Vu (a feeling that something is very familiar)


The ictal phase, or middle of the seizure, correlates with the electrical activity in the brain.  It begins with the first symptom experienced, including the aura, and lasts until the end of the seizure activity.  The visible symptoms of the seizure may actually last longer than the seizure itself.  These may be aftereffects of the seizure or may be unrelated entirely.

Common Seizure Symptoms:
  • Any symptoms listed for Auras
  • Confusion
  • Memory Lapses or Forgetfulness
  • Daydreaming/Zoning
  • Blackouts/Loss of Awareness
  • Pass outs/Loss of Consciousness
  • Distorted Sounds/Loss of Hearing
  • Unusual Smells (i.e. Burning Rubber)
  • Unusual Tastes
  • Loss of Vision/Blurriness
  • Flashing Lights
  • Visual Hallucinations
  • Feeling Detached/Out of Body Sensations
Common Physical Symptoms:
  • Automatisms
    • Repeated Non-Purposeful Movements
      • Chewing
      • Dressing
      • Lip Smacking
      • Running
      • Undressing
      • Walking
      • Waving
  • Convulsions
    • Loss of Consciousness
    • Body Becomes Rigid/Tense
    • Fast Jerking Movements
  • Loss of Movement or Muscle Tone
    Epilepsy Symptoms in Children

    Epilepsy Symptoms
    Copyright: AlienCat / 123RF Stock Photo

    • Head may fall forward
    • Body may slump or fall
  • Rapid Blinking or Staring
    • Eyes may roll, look sideways, or look upward
  • Speech Difficulties
    • Garbled Speech
    • Nonsense Talk
    • Abrupt Stop to Talking
  • Tremors
    • Twitching or Jerking Movements
      • Arms
      • Legs
      • One/Both Sides of Face
      • Whole Body
      • May start in one place and spread
      • May stay in one place
  • Rigid Muscles
    • May fall suddenly
  • Drooling/Unable to Swallow
  • Sudden Loss of Urine/Stool
  • Sweating
  • Loss of Skin Tone
    • Looks Pale or Flushed
  • Dilated Pupils
  • Clenched Teeth
  • Biting Tongue
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Breathing Difficulty


The postictal phase, or end of the seizure, consists of the recovery period.  How long this period lasts and what symptoms occur depend on the type of seizure and which part of the brain it impacted.  This varies from person to person.

Common Post-Seizure Symptoms:
  • Anxiousness
  • Confusion
  • Delayed Response
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Exhaustion

  • Fatigue
  • Fear
  • Frustration
  • Headache
  • Injury from Falling
  • Lightheadedness
  • Memory Lapses
  • Nausea
  • Sadness
  • Shame
  • Sleepiness
  • Thirst
  • Weakness

Epilepsy Treatment

Often, the first step to treating epilepsy is through medication.  This is the most common method of treatment to control or prevent seizures.  Many different anti-epilepsy drugs (AEDs) help control seizures and you and the doctor will discuss types of seizures and other factors in order to pick the most beneficial for you and your circumstances.  Be sure to always talk to your doctor before starting a stopping a medicine as this can cause very severe seizures that can lead to death.

You will also want to learn about seizure first aid.  Basic seizure first aid will help you determine what actions to take when you or someone you know is having a seizure in order to be safe and comfortable.  Knowing these steps could save a life.

Epilepsy Diagnosis

Epilepsy Diagnosis
Copyright: designer491 / 123RF Stock Photo

When medication does not effectively control seizures, and more than one medication has been tried, doctors may consider surgery as the next treatment option.  Like AEDs, there is no guarantee that the surgery will control the seizures so the doctors will work with you to weigh the benefits against the risks of doing surgery.

Dietary Therapy may also be considered to try to help control seizures.  Specifically, a Ketogenic diet or the modified Atkins diet have been shown to be effective.

There are new devices being developed to help control and prevent seizures, such as Responsive Neurostimulation and Vagus Nerve Stimulation.  There are also seizure alerting devices to help detect seizures for those that don’t have the more obvious symptoms during seizures.

Herbal Therapy and Medical Marijuana are currently being investigated for treatment of epilepsy.

Cause of Epilepsy

In many cases, a cause for epilepsy cannot be found.  There are two primary types of seizures: generalized seizures and partial seizures.

Generalized Seizures: These types of seizures affect both sides of the brain at the same time.  Doctors believe hereditary factors play a role in these types of seizures.

Partial Seizures:  These types of seizures affect only a limited area of the brain.  For example, my son’s seizures affect only his left frontal lobe.  There are many causes for partial seizures, though may not always be identified.  Genetic factors may play a role in these types of seizures.

Epilepsy Conclusion

Epilepsy Conclusion
Copyright: tashatuvango / 123RF Stock Photo

Common Causes:
  • Brain Infection
  • Brain Injury
  • Cortical Displasias
  • Stroke
  • Tumor



It is so easy to get ADHD diagnosed, that children are often receiving the incorrect diagnosis and being ineffectively treated and/or medicated without further evaluation.

Epilepsy is one of a very long list of medical conditions that has symptoms which mimic ADHD.  The big problem with this is that children with ADHD are treated with medications that tend to make seizure disorders worse.  Stimulant medications are a definite no-no with Epilepsy as they tend to cause seizures.

With an accurate diagnosis and effective seizure control, many epileptic people grow up to be very successful individuals.  There have been many:

  • Agatha Christie (Writer)
  • Alexander the Great (Ancient Greek King)
  • Alfred the Great (Anglo-Saxon King)
  • Alfred Nobel (Swedish Chemist, Engineer, Innovator, Manufacturer, and Inventor)
  • Aristotle (Greek Philosopher)
  • Bud Abbott (Producer, Comedian, Actor)
  • Chanda Gunn (Ice Hockey Player)
  • Charles Dickens (Novelist)
  • Charles V of Spain (Ruler of Holy Roman Empire)
  • Danny Glover (Actor)
  • DJ Hapa (Executive Director)
  • Edgar Allen Poe (Author and Literary Critic)
  • Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky (Russian Writer and Essayist)
  • George Frederick Handel (Composer)
  • Hannibal (Military Commander and Tactician)
  • Hector Berliouz (French Romantic Composer)
  • Hugo Weaving (Film, Stage, and Voice actor)
  • Isaac Newton (Scientist)
  • James Madison (POTUS)
  • Julius Caesar
  • Leonardo Da Vinci (Architect, Botanist, Musician, Scientist, Mathematician, Engineer, Inventor, Painter, Writer, etc.)
  • Lewis Carrol (English Author, Photographer, Mathematician, Anglican Clergyman, Logician)
  • Lord Byron
  • Louis XIII of France (King)
  • Margaux Hemmingway (Model and Film Actress)
  • Martin Luther (German Monk, Theologian, and Church Reformer)
  • Michelangelo (Sculptor)
  • Napoleon Bonaparte (French Military and Political Leader)
  • Neil Young (Musician)
  • Nicolo Paganini (Italian Violinist, Violist, Guitarist, and Composer)
  • Paul I of Russia (Emperor)
  • Peter Tchaikovsky (Russian Composer)
  • Peter the Great
  • Pythagoras (Greek Philosopher)
  • Richard Burton (Actor)
  • Robert Schumann (German Composer)
  • Sir Walter Scott (Scottish Historical Novelist and Poet)
  • Socrates (Greek Philosopher)
  • Theodore Roosevelt (Soldier, Historian, Explorer, Naturalist, Author, Governor, POTUS)
  • Truman Capote (Writer)
  • Vincent van Gogh (Artist)

Clearly, with accurate diagnosis and effective treatment, epileptic individuals can bring an abundance of creativity, compassion, and brilliance to society.  While it’s easy to get caught up in blaming parents, vaccines, or poor decisions for their child’s disabilities, criticizing labels and other methods of raising awareness, and theorizing about healthcare conspiracies, these people are part of our everyday lives and we owe them understanding at the very least.  They give us the same in the best ways they know how.

Epilepsy Awareness

Epilepsy Awareness
Copyright: tzeyrek / 123RF Stock Photo

Yes, there is an epidemic of misdiagnoses that causes annoyance and frustration surrounding children with ADHD, Epilepsy, and many other conditions and disabilities.  The problem is that the very labels that society criticizes us for using are the ones that lead to our children getting the help that they desperately need.  Ignorance is bliss.  It’s easy to judge when it’s not your problem.  How about we educate ourselves and raise some awareness instead?  Be part of the solution, not the problem.

Talk soon,


Don’t Waste Your Time Homeschooling – A Product Review

homeschooling, waste, time

Is it a waste of time?

Waste of Time or Not?

Last night I was surfing Amazon for some books about homeschooling.  Specifically, I was looking for something to help me plan out the year and make homeschooling most effective for my son so I don’t waste a lot of time doing things unnecessarily.  There were only five days from the time that I decided to research homeschooling to the time that I took the plunge, got his materials, and withdrew him from public school.  So there was very little planning involved and we scrambled to get started.  Now that the mad rush is over, I want to make sure I do the best for him that I possibly can.

While surfing, I found a book called, Don’t Waste Your Time Homeschooling: 72 Things I Wish I’d Known by Traci Matt.  When I saw this, I simply had to read it.  I needed to know why it didn’t work for her and why she thought it was a waste of time, so I purchased it right away and read it.

Pros & Cons


  • Quick Read
  • Helpful Resources
  • Helpful Tips
  • Honest Experience
  • No Fluff


  • Deceiving Title
  • Too Short


Traci Matt provides a bunch of really helpful tips and resources for such a short book.  The book was 72 pages long and took less than an hour for me to read.  The author was very direct and to-the-point so there wasn’t any fluff in the book just to fill space.  I liked that.  Spoiler alert: she homeschooled all three of her children and was not advising against homeschooling, which was the impression that I got from the title.  That’s okay though, it got me to buy the book and I’m glad I did.  I now have two other books on my Wish list as well as some other resources to check into.


Target Audience

This book is clearly intended for anybody who is currently or is considering homeschooling their children.  It gives a lot of things that are just good to know when getting started and gives you ideas for how to handle certain situations.



This is an eBook that you can download to your Kindle and sells for $2.99.  However, I was able to download this book free as I am a subscriber of Kindle Unlimited.


Final Opinion

5 Stars

5 Star Rating!

I would definitely recommend this book to other parents considering homeschooling.  From legal references to differences between children, you’re sure to find at least a few useful tips in this book and you can’t beat the price.





Additional Recommendations

The Decision to Homeschool My Child

What Happened?!?

My son is in 6th grade this year, his first year of Middle School.  We knew it was going to be a hard year for him as he will now have to transition to changing classes every hour instead of sitting in one classroom most of the day.  He was approved to stay in the Magnet Program with the school he went to for elementary school which meant he got to stay for Middle school as well.  But in order to stay in the Magnet Program, he had to meet certain academic criteria.

At the end of last year, we discussed that in his 504 Plan meeting.  The principal assured me that as long as my son showed effort that he was trying to keep up, then he wouldn’t be kicked out of the program and the school would support him.  While I hadn’t been thrilled with how certain teacher’s had handled my son in the past, overall the school had been better for him than the previous two schools I had him in.  So I was happy to keep him in an environment that he was already familiar with for Middle School.  However, my son and I had discussed this and I made him aware that we’re not going to continue jumping from school to


Enough is Enough

school.  This was the third school in six years.  If it didn’t work out at this school, I would homeschool him.  He dreaded that though and was absolutely against homeshooling as he did not want to be away from his friends.

However, he got halfway through sixth grade with pretty decent grades.  The very first week back from the winter holiday break, my son was called up to the Dean’s office and told that he had 3 days to pull his GPA up from 1.5 to 2.5 or he would be kicked out of the program.  This devastated him.  He came home crying and feeling like a complete failure, yet again.  His tics immediately started back up indicating that he was overly stressed and he cried off and on the entire weekend.  I was fed up and scared to death at the same time.  I’ve never seen my son that upset, that worthless.


Communication…or Lack Thereof

The Dean had tried to call me that same Friday, but I was in a business meeting and couldn’t answer her call right away.  I immediately left my meeting because I knew it was the school calling.  I called the school back but the front office had no idea who had called me.  And, as always, there was no message left on my voicemail at either of the numbers she called.  A few hours later, I received an email from her informing me that she had spoken to my son about his grades and she hoped I would work with him over the weekend on making up assignments he was missing.

Since I was upset, I waited until the following Monday to contact her.  I had spoken to my son over the weekend and determined that he had a few missing assignments and had earned a couple of zeros on group projects where other team members hadn’t done their part so the entire group failed.  There were four assignments that he admitted to not turning in.  So I instructed him to get them done and turn them in Monday.  When I emailed the Dean, I explained what my son had told me about some of the zeros and missing assignments.  I asked what would happen next.  Would they kick him out of the school next week or would he be allowed to finish the year?  Why had the teachers not been communicating with me about work not being turned in until there were only 3 days to do anything about it?  I asked very specific, targeted questions.  I copied the principal on the email because she had pulled me aside at the beginning of this year to tell me that the school was going to stand by my son.  “We’ll get him through it,” she said.School

Wednesday, two days later, I finally received a response from the Dean.  She had forwarded the email to the teachers as they could explain the zeros better than she could.  She told me her team would meet to make a decision and she would bring my concerns to the team at that time.  As for what happens next, they could either kick him out of the program altogether and kick him out of the school immediately, they could place him on academic probation for another quarter and reassess then, or they could release him from probation if his grades were high enough.  I never received a response from his teachers.

My son came home from school that day and told me that he had gone to one of his teachers and asked her if he could turn one of the missing assignments in to her the following day.  Her response to him was, “Why would I take it now?”  This made me angrier.  He did exactly what both the Dean and I instructed him to do, and that was her response.  That same day, the Guidance Counselor called him down and told him that she “doesn’t think” he’d be kicked out of the program just yet and that he’d probably be allowed to stay for the 3rd quarter.  So he gets to spend the next nine weeks worried about whether he’ll be kicked out after that quarter?  I don’t think so.  Not on my watch.



I called that very night and enrolled him into an Independent Study Homeschooling program.  I will teach him myself.  He has had his spirit broken down at school year after year.  How is he supposed to succeed at anything if he’s constantly being told he’s not good enough?  During the previous weekend, I had told him he was perfect to me.  That resulted in my son bursting into tears and thanking me.  Then he went to his room to sob…again.  At that point, I put my face in my hands and cried too.  I had never felt so helpless.  I can’t let them continue to destroy my son.  They will lead him to suicide, he’s already high risk just due to his disabilities.  I have to take control of his education and stop this nonsense.

I had him officially enrolled in homeschooling by the end of the day on Thursday and withdrew him from public school on Friday.  I needed to start doing damage control right away and get him built back up, his confidence level is at an all time low.  Since the principal had offered reassurance at the beginning of the year, I wanted to give her a personal explanation of what happened and why I pulled him out.  So I wrote her a letter and sent it to her via email.  It is entirely rhetorical and I am quite certain that I will never hear from that school again.  But I held my head high and explained to her my reasoning while getting everything off my chest at the same time.  This allowed me to close that chapter and move right on to the next.

Focused on Success

Focused on Success

Now, my son and I have just finished our first week of homeschooling.  It went pretty well and he is starting to get back to himself again.  He’s much happier now and is excited to learn again.  I think this was the right decision, at the right time.  That said, this may be right for my child and may not be right for everybody.  As parents, we have to understand that our children are unique and we have to find what will work for them.  I fought the public school system real hard for six years before giving up on them.  But I will not give up on my son.

If you are fighting similar battles with your own children and would like to talk or learn about potential options, please feel free to reach out to me.  I’m happy to share what I know and what I’ve tried in hopes that it will help another unique child.

Happy Parenting!





Strange Behavior…Something Just Isn’t Right

It All Started When He Was 1


A New Chapter Begins

My son was about a year old when I started noticing the strange behavior.  He had been a sick baby but I hadn’t noticed any truly strange behaviors that weren’t directly related to his illness or medications.  He had obstructive apnea but it took a full year for doctor’s to pinpoint what was causing him to be sick.  So there were various changes of meds with each misdiagnoses.

But at a year old, I noticed he started becoming fearful of things like airplanes flying by overhead and motorcycles driving by.  Fearful is maybe a bit of an understatement, he acted terrified.  By two years old, he wouldn’t sleep at night, he developed some irrational fears, he became destructive and impulsive, the temper tantrums started.  At this point, I started thinking what’s wrong with this child?

Trouble Sleeping

At two years old, he was a bit…hyper.  I quickly started becoming overwhelmed.  Most of the problem during this time was that I could not get my two year old to sleep at night.  I would put him down in bed at 8pm and we’d do the whole temper tantrum thing until about midnight when he’d finally fall asleep.  I would go bed exhausted and finally fall asleep by 1 am.  He would wake up between 3am and 5am ready to start his day.

At first, he would come and wake me up.  But he quickly learned that waking me up meant that I would take him right back to bed and we’d start the bedtime routine all over again, except this time it would last until it was time to leave for work and he’d win anyway.  Once he figured out that I wasn’t just going to let him stay up, he stopped waking me up and just started climbing into my bed at night.  He would play with my hair or turn on the TV muted and entertain himself until I woke up, then he’s pretend to be asleep next to me.  Okay, so now a decade later, it was kind of cute.  But oh so frustrating.

We all know how society feels about kids sleeping in bed with their parents.  Let me just throw in this disclaimer, my son slept in his own bed by himself for the first 2 years of his life with no problems whatsoever.  I didn’t bring this on myself.  Once he stopped waking me up, I had lost the battle.  I refuse to lock my son in his room at night where he can’t get out if he needs to.  That’s not safe.  And I refuse to lock my door so my son can’t get to me if he needs to, especially after the apnea issues.  So I had lost the battle.  There was no fighting it.  The silver lining was that I was getting more than 2 or 3 hours of sleep.


A New Chapter

FamilyNaturally we go to our parents and our family for support when we’re going through stuff.  My parents are typical parents, they know best.  I needed to make my son stop coming to my bed.  Put him to bed earlier.  Put him to bed later.  Don’t let him nap.  There just had to be something that I was doing wrong, right?

I started thinking my son my have ADHD.  Of course that’s when the family turned away from me doing something wrong to doctors being so quick to diagnose ADHD and the medical industry being a big scam to just get money.  Whatever.  Live 1 day in my shoes, I beg you!  I could use the break.  This is not normal behavior, there’s something wrong with my child and something has to give.

Sensory Defensiveness

We lived in a newly built apartment for 3 years. We were the first residents of that apartment as it was just newly built. It was during this time that I went from “this must be the terrible two’s” to “my kid is a monster and I need help!” I learned that he was pretty finicky with food. I couldn’t figure out what it was but foods that were a certain consistency or a certain color, he wouldn’t touch. I learned that changing our routine was devastating to him. For example, he was about three years old and I was driving home from daycare after work. We took a different route that day because traffic was bad and I was in a hurry. All of a sudden he starts screaming in the back seat. I pull over to the side of the highway quickly and park. I turn to see if something’s biting him or what. He’s screaming and crying. I tell him to stop. I tell him to take a breath. It works! He stopped screaming and took a deep breath. I asked him what was wrong. He said, at three years old, “We’re lost! This isn’t the way home!” I explained to him that we weren’t lost and I knew exactly where we were. He said okay but he was skeptical the rest of the way home.

Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight: What to Do If You Are Sensory Defensive in an Overstimulating World


Not Listening, Routines and Throwing Fits

I had learned that when I was trying to talk to him sometimes, he would be standing in front of me but not listening. One day I really needed him to hear me because it was a safety issue so I told him to open his ears. He put his cute little hands up to his ears and pulled them forward a little

child tantrums


and tuned in to every word I said. I found a trick! It worked, it made him actually listen to me. I used it from that point on.

Another trick I found was when he was throwing his temper tantrums. He would get to crying and pitching such a fit that I couldn’t get him out of it. Finally one day I was teetering on the edge of insanity and exasperated and he was throwing a fit, I just said to him “Stop.” And he did. I said “Take a breath.” And he did! The fit was over! I later learned from my best friend that this is called the STAR technique. Stop, take a deep breath, and relax. It really works. The fits came primarily when his routine was upset, not when he didn’t get his way.

We had a bedtime routine where I put him to bed ad a specific time after he did specific things like brush his teeth.  As I’m walking out of his room he says “I love you.” I say “I love you too.” He says “Sweet dreams.” I say “Sweet dreams.” He says “Goodnight.” I say “Goodnight.” Then we repeat that series twice more. But we have to say it three times or it messes it up and we have to start all over.  If we don’t start all over and do it right…complete meltdown.  Obsessive much?


Pre-School Battles and More Strange Behavior

Every single day was a battle. I would drop him off at daycare/preschool and go to work. I would be lucky to get through the day without a call from the preschool. There are two particular instances that stand out in my memory. I’ll preface them with this – when I enrolled him into that preschool, I told them two key things: that he doesn’t seem to adjust well to change and that to calm down his temper tantrums, just tell him to stop. I told them that he handles change better when he’s prepared for it. Talk to him about it a day a head of time if possible but give him warning that his daily routine is going to change and he’ll handle it better.

One day they call me, “Mom, we need you to come get him. He threw a temper tantrum and now he’s hyperventilating.” I said, “What triggered the fit?” She said, “We told him to go sit at the blue table and he wanted to stay at the green table. We have him breathing into a paper bag now but you need to come up here.” I said, “No. I told you guys to warn him about changes before they happen. This is why. I’m not coming to get him. Put the phone down, walk over to him, get down to his level, look him in the eyes and tell him stop! I’ll wait.” So I listened as she put the phone down and did exactly what I told her to do. He stopped. Immediately.




A few weeks after that I showed up to the preschool to pick him up at the end of the day, they met me at the door and pulled me into a little room with a file in their hands. “We need to talk about your son,” she says. Ooookay. Sure. “Today the kids gathered on the rug for circle time. The teacher was reading a story to them and all of a sudden he turns to the kid beside him and claws his face scratching him. It was very concerning because he immediately started crying and apologizing for it. It seemed like he didn’t mean to do it and that it shocked him that he did.” He was four at the time this happened. I said ummm okay.

That’s not something that has ever happened before, he knows I don’t tolerate violence and he’s never really been violent with other kids. She warned me that the daycare doesn’t tolerate children with behavior issues and that this may not be a good fit for him. *Sigh* I asked her to give me time to get him into a doctor to talk about the issues we’ve seen because something just isn’t right and I don’t think these are necessarily behavior issues. She agreed to give me time to figure things out.

Irrational Fears, Night Terrors and Leg Cramps

I also discovered at the apartment that my son was afraid of wind. Really. Looking back, it all makes sense now and I’ll talk more about that later. But a lot of really weird fears started creeping up during this time and the sound of wind blowing was the most prevalent one at this time. We lived in a third floor apartment a few blocks from the airport. It was windy…regularly. Night terrors were bad at this time and I couldn’t figure out where they came from but they seemed to be triggered by the weird fears he had.


Night Terrors

Another night time issue was leg cramps. He got leg cramps pretty regularly while sleeping at night. I couldn’t figure out what was causing them. I would wake up to him screaming and crying and I’d go in his room and he’d be holding his leg. I’d start massaging his leg and I could feel his calf muscle spasm. I would just massage his leg until he went back to sleep and then I’d drag my own zombie self back to bed. As time went by, it got to the point where I wouldn’t wake up right away when he cried or when he woke up. I was so tired that I would sleep through the noise.

This made for some interesting times. I woke up one morning and there was a mural of handprints on my wall made with peanut butter. Then there was the morning I woke up to find my son in his bed watching TV with a box of cereal and the pitcher of Kool Aid….and the morning that there was a steady stream of pancake syrup, strawberry syrup, and chocolate syrup all the way from my bedroom door down the hallway, in laps around the living room, and dining room. Oh there was also the morning that I woke up and found that his pet shark fish had gotten thirsty during the night so he dumped a gallon of milk into the tank. Unfortunately I was unable to rescue the sharks in time. The few that survived the day died within a week or two. Between punching walls, slamming doors, climbing on blinds, and feeding the carpet…my three to four year old had done $1200 worth of damage to that brand new apartment.

Advice Please



Around that same time, I was on the phone with my best friend late one night. She had heard me put my son to bed kind of late that night. But 10pm was the standard time for that. I know that’s late for a four year old, but as I explained to her, if he goes to bed any earlier than he wakes up for the day right around the time that I’m going to bed for the night. This kid sleeps like 4 hours and then he’s ready for the day. I had asked the preschool to cut his naps in half previously but that didn’t seem to help him sleep at night. Almost every day he was going to bed at 10pm and waking up somewhere between 2am and 4am ready to start his day. She told me that’s not normal.

It was normal for me. I didn’t know what to do. I told her I didn’t know what to do. I vented aaaallll of the issues on her and she said, “Okay…here’s what you do…” She told me to take him to the Pediatrician and tell them I’m tired. Explain all the issues to them and see what they say. But above everything, just show how tired you are and ask them for help. Tell them you need a nap. So, I called and scheduled an appointment. And this is where the medical issues begin…again.

If you’ve experienced similar issues and would like to share, please don’t hesitate to drop a comment below.  I welcome all participation!