A. When they think of seizures or epilepsy, most people picture a grand mal seizure, in which a child passes out and begins to shake violently all over. Although this type of generalized seizure can often affect children, it is import to keep in mind that there are many different types of seizures.
Many people would assume that what you are describing couldn't be a seizure because your daughter is awake and answers questions, but there are some types of seizures during which a child could remain aware and awake the whole time. These are in fact the most common type of seizures that people have and are called partial seizures.
According to the Epilepsy Foundation, 'virtually any movement, sensory, or emotional symptom can occur as part of a partial seizure, including complex visual or auditory hallucinations.' So a person having a simple partial seizure might have:
- uncontrollable movements
- sudden feelings of fear, anger, or rage
- strange sensations that can affect any sense, simulating smells, tastes, feelings, noises, etc.
If you think that your child may be having seizures, the next step would likely be to see a Pediatric Neurologist. An EEG might help determine if her episodes with the 'shakes' are seizures or not.
Other Types of SeizuresIn addition to the generalized seizures and partial seizures discussed above, children can also have:
- Absence Seizures - which are also called staring spells or petit mal seizures and last for only a few seconds
- Atonic Seizures - with a sudden loss of muscle tone (drop attacks)
- Myoclonic Seizures - causing rapid, brief jerks of a child's muscles, such as their arms, hands, or feet