I might be a bit of a data geek. My first instinct when writing this post was to share some hard facts on epilepsy and autism. Since November is Epilepsy Awareness Month, and epilepsy affects many people with autism spectrum disorders, I wanted to be sure I had my facts straight. Here’s what I found:
Link between Autism and Epilepsy: Data from 2002
A study using data from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, collected retrospectively from the year 2002, representing children with autism spectrum disorder showed approximately 15.5% of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders are also diagnosed with Epilepsy. This study published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics in 2010 was titled, “Autism Spectrum Disorder and Co-occurring Developmental, Psychiatric, and Medical Conditions Among Children in Multiple Populations of the United States.”
Link between Autism and Epilepsy: Data from 2003-2005
The CDC recognizes epilepsy as a “co-occurring condition” with autism spectrum disorders. Epilepsy, is of course, not the only co-occurring condition recognized. Utilizing data from 2003-2005, the CDC published a web article in 2012 that stated, “Among children with an ASD, about half had at least one of the three commonly co-occurring conditions: ADHD, intellectual disability, or epilepsy.”
The Autism Speaks website notes as many as 1/3 people with Autism Spectrum Disorders are also diagnosed with Epilepsy. However, there is no reference notation to back this data up.
I hope you found this quick look at epilepsy and autism helpful. Sometimes it is good to know where to go for correct information. Visit this link for more information on the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.
Get Involved in Epilepsy Awareness
Here are a few ways you can help increase Epilepsy Awareness this month:
- Wear purple
- Promote your event on the Epilepsy Event Calendar
- Share your story of how you have been affected by Epilepsy
- Share a Fact Sheet on epilepsy
- Get your own Epilepsy Awareness Gear
- Support an Artist with Epilepsy
- Spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumbler, and Google+
- Tell a friend
I hope you take a moment this month to spread the word and raise epilepsy awareness throughout Epilepsy Awareness Month. If you need more ideas check out our facebook page. Readers are submitting comments on what they are doing to raise awareness during epilepsy awareness month. Submit your ideas, we’d love to hear them!