Behavioral issues

With any child, behavioral issues are difficult to face. Questions come up about the cause of the outburst and the best way to discipline the child. Supporting a child with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) brings special challenges. As a parent or caregiver, you should be aware of how your child's behavior can be affected by LGS.

Though it may be difficult to hear, LGS can do more than cause physical problems. Children and adolescents with LGS have an increased risk of psychiatric problems. LGS typically affects mental functioning. Some children experience a degree of impaired functioning and developmental delays. Others may also experience behavioral problems including hyperactivity, aggressiveness, and autistic traits.1,2

Understand behavioral issues associated with LGS

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The key to addressing behavioral problems is to understand what causes them.
Addressing behavioral problems

Addressing behavioral problems

When a child with LGS acts out or hits, it can be difficult to determine why. A loved one with LGS may have the added hurdle of being unable to communicate effectively. The key to addressing behavioral problems is to understand what causes them. Possible causes include:

  • The seizures themselves3
  • The effect of seizure medications3
  • Electrical disturbances in the brain3

A specialist familiar with the needs of children with LGS or the developmentally disabled may be able to recommend therapy or
treatment for your child.

Reaching outside for Guidance

Reaching out for guidance

You may also find it helpful to reach out to the LGS community through blogs, social networks, and online forums. Others who are caring for a child with LGS may have encountered similar situations. The advice and support they offer may be valuable.

Learn more about these communities in our Helpful links section

Behavioral problems can complicate an already difficult disorder. A parent or caregiver may feel like there are so many things that can't be controlled. But it's important to remember that finding the right professionals to work with and being a careful observer can help make living with LGS a little easier.

LGS (Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome) doctor discussion guide

Doctor Discussion Guide

Be sure to ask the questions most important to you every time you visit the doctor.

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References:

  • 1. Arzimanoglou A, French J, Blume WT, et al. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome: a consensus approach on diagnosis, assessment, management, and trial methodology. Lancet Neurol. 2009;8:82-93.
  • 2. van Rijckevorsel K. Treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome: overview and recent findings. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2008;4(6):1001-1019.
  • 3. Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). Epilepsy Centre. Web site. https://epilepsycentre.org.au/lennox-gastaut-syndrome-lgs/. Published May 1999. Accessed October 30, 2019.