Monday, February 9, 2015 is the first International Epilepsy Day, a joint initiative created by the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) and the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) scheduled to occur annually hereafter on the second Monday in February to promote epilepsy awareness around the world. Epileptic seizures are much more common among persons with an autism spectrum disorder than among the general population and parents of children with a newly diagnosed autism disorder should discuss the possibility and care implications of autism with their medical advisers. The autism and epilepsy connection is discussed on the Autism Speaks official blog site in the commentary How Common Are Seizures Among People With Autism And What Can Help:
"Seizures are indeed more common in both children and adults on the autism spectrum. Independently, autism and epilepsy (seizures of unknown cause), each occur in around 1 percent of the general population. But epilepsy rates among those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), range from 20 to 40 percent, with the highest rates among those most severely impaired by autism. Conversely, about 5 percent of children who develop epilepsy in childhood go on to develop autism."
Autism Speaks also has a more detailed information page about autism and epilepsy that provides some answers to questions this father of a son with autism, intellectual disability and epilepsy found helpful: Autism and Epilepsy Resources.
The World Health Organization provides a helpful over view of epilepsy in the graphic below WHAT IS epilepsy? and does not shy away from pointing out one of the more severe epilepsy impacts, specifically that persons with epilepsy have a 3-6 TIMES greater risk of premature death. Given the serious potential impact of epilepsy and the much greater risk of epilepsy among persons with autism disorders it is critically important that persons with autism and parents of children with autism are aware of the autism epilepsy connection.