Children's epilepsy resource for Families

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How is Epilepsy Diagnosed?


Epilepsy is usually diagnosed by the careful description of recurrent events your child is having. Investigations may also assist in making a diagnosis.


Epilepsy in children is usually diagnosed by a Doctor with training in Epilepsy. In New South Wales, this would be through a Paediatrician. One of the most helpful tools for your Doctor is a detailed history of the seizure-like episodes. There will be very specific questions about the event. It may be helpful to complete the ‘Event Record’ and take it with you to your Doctor. If your child is having multiple events, you can record them on the ‘Event Diary’.


Your Doctor will use this information along with any supporting evidence from investigations such as an electroencephalogram (EEG). An EEG is a non painful test that records the electrical activity of the brain. Sometimes your Doctor will also perform blood investigations or imaging of the brain (MRI).


If your child is given a diagnosis of Epilepsy, your Doctor will try and determine the cause. It is important to try and classify the type of Epilepsy into a specific Epilepsy Syndrome. This helps with the understanding of treatment and prognosis.












This page was originally published in March 2012. It was last reviewed in December 2017.