Date Published: December 1, 2020
In this recorded webinar, Dr. Sarah Spence discusses the co-occurrence of epilepsy with autism spectrum disorder. We have known that individuals with autism can develop seizures almost from the time that autism was first described by Leo Kanner in 1943. But, just like autism, the epilepsy that clinicians see is across a broad spectrum. In this talk, Dr. Spence shares information about how often epilepsy is seen among those with autism, who it happens to, what it looks like, how it affects the individual, how it is treated, and the science behind the connection.
Who is Sarah Spence?
Dr. Sarah Spence is a child neurologist with a Ph.D. in neuropsychology. She completed pediatrics and neurology residencies at UCLA and did a post-doctoral fellowship in behavioral neurogenetics working with the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE). She spent 5 years as the medical director of the Autism Evaluation Clinic at UCLA then another 5 years doing clinical research in autism at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). She is now the Co-Director of the Autism Spectrum Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. As a neurologist, she’s interested in the overlap of autism and epilepsy. She has been involved in many initiatives in the clinical care and research of individuals with autism and related developmental disabilities. She was a member of the DSM-5 workgroup which defined the diagnostic criteria for autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. She still credits the families from AGRE for her expertise in ASD.