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The link between epilepsy and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Epilepsy and autism often come hand in hand. Between 20% and 40% of people with epilepsy also have Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and this rate increases steadily with age.

Having both conditions can have a major impact on a young person’s life. Amongst other things, the young person’s memory and language skills may be impaired and this in turn may lead to difficulties in learning and education.

Research also shows that people with ASD have different types of seizure. Epilepsy seizures can sometimes be missed however, because of communication difficulties related to the young person’s autism. The relationship between ASD and epilepsy is poorly understood. It isn’t known whether autism or epilepsy is the primary or secondary condition but in both conditions the temporal lobe part of the brain may not be functioning in the expected way.

It can be overwhelming if you care for a child or young person that has autism and epilepsy. At Young Epilepsy, we know from experience that with the correct support young people with autism can achieve great things.

Young Epilepsy’s St Piers School and College have considerable experience teaching children, teenagers and young people with both conditions. If you would like more information about our specialist education services, please visit our school and college web pages »»

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Cyber EssentialsFundraising RegulatorYoung Epilepsy is the operating name of The National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy (NCYPE).
Registered Charity number 311877 (England and Wales)

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