Book Review and Guest Post – Silently Seizing by Caren Haines



Title: Silently Seizing: Common, Unrecognized and Frequently Missed Seizures and Their Potentially Damaging Impact on Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders.  An Essential Guide for Parents and Professionals

Author: Caren Haines RN

Publisher: AAPC Publishing

ISBN: 9781937473082

Author Bio

Caren Haines is the mother of a 24-year-old son diagnosed with autism as a young child.  As a registered nurse, Caren relied upon her nurse’s training to assist her in deciphering the origins of many of her son’s perplexing behaviours.  Based on knowledge gained from years of intensive research she compiled for this book as well as information provided by top researchers in the field of autism, Caren is helping families become free from the debilitating symptoms of silent seizures and psychosis.  She is also the co-author of a children’s book, ‘Georgie, The Flying Dog,’ which explores the concept of unconditional love and acceptance of our differences.



My Review

This is an obviously well researched book coupled with personal experience.  The input by Nancy Minshew, MD has been invaluable to the accuracy of the information.

Silent Seizures are not only silent in the respect that they are difficult to detect, diagnose and recognise but ‘silent’ also in the respect that so few people are aware of this possible aspect of autism.

Not every autistic child will have silent seizures but there are many that probably do and don’t even know that this is the cause of some of their behaviours.

I found this book extremely interesting and enlightening and am investigating further to see if this could be a possible explanation for some of my own son’s unpredictable violent outbursts.

The information is presented clearly and methodically and although it is a complicated subject it is explained in a manner that is very easy to understand, I commend Caren for doing an excellent job of making this book easy to understand and apply.

The personal touches and inclusion of her own son’s experiences along with other family stories helps to make this informative book not to become a dry instructional manual but a true pleasure to read.

I give this book a 5-star rating.

Guest Post

My Josh is 25
Though it was very difficult to open my life up and share with people, I feel it is essential to do if I am to make something positive come from this extreme misery. I also feel as a medical professional it is imperative to share such important knowledge gleaned in life and there is no other way to do it than to simply tell the truth.
Partial Seizures are very brief alterations in consciousness and the symptoms mild at first, and thus very difficult to differentiate from someone lost in thought. There is also a tendency for lay people to see a developmental disorder as characterized by oddities that many of the professionals just attribute to the autism diagnosis without an attempt to dissect the origin. The sad truth is that partial seizures go unrecognised in many patients and this tragedy leads to severe deleterious effects for the seizing person.
A partial seizure affects only one part of the brain at the onset. The brain is divided into two hemispheres consisting of four lobes – the frontal, temporal, parietal,  and occipital lobes. A partial seizure either affects one hemisphere or a certain lobe. The symptoms vary according to where the seizure occurs.
If it happens in the lobe responsible for vision, the occipital lobe, a disturbance in vision or hallucination can be the manifestation.
There are two types, simple partial and complex partial. In simple partial, consciousness remains intact. A person can have a deja vu and recall a vision from the past and mutter incoherently. This type can remain simple or can spread to become a complex partial seizure that does affect consciousness. A person having this kind of seizure could engage in bizarre behaviour only to have no recollection of it at all. This type can produce aggression along with many other symptoms. These seizures are often mistaken for psychiatric disorders and thus many patients never get the proper treatment.
Absence seizures formally called petit mal, cause the brief episodes of staring with facial grimace and eye flutter or blinking.
These seizures are difficult to recognize in typical persons let alone people with autism. I hope to increase awareness of this very troubling malady and all of the difficulties associated with it.
Another problem in this cruel scenario is the EEG test, designed to find these seizures, often misses them and is deemed to be normal. A person can have a seizure disorder and have completely normal EEG’s. The current method is of inferior quality but the newer DEEP EEG is helping find these silent discharges. Therefore, the symptoms must be recognized by astute observation and recording data. I cover all of this information in detail and provide examples and data sheets in my book Silently Seizing.
I feel that I must help families to understand the silent connection between autism and seizures so that they can help their loved ones to live more normal lives. A brilliant neurologist, Dr. Fernando Miranda, is treating these patients who are initially diagnosed with autism and 50% of them are recovering because they are only suffering from an undetected seizure disorder. The seizure disorder gives rise to the unusual behaviour seen in individuals with autism.
You can see two cases of children who recovered because their seizures were recognized and subsequently treated. You can view this at and click on the ABC news clip. It will be eye opening.
In many cases of autism, aggression, which arises from seemingly out of the blue, poses a terrible problem for families. In studies of the brains of those with autism, there are anatomical differences and areas of damage. These traumatized areas of the brain can be the cause of severe maladaptive behaviour that is uncontrollable. Inderal, a beta blocker, has been very effective in treating this primary rage behaviour.
Traditionally, when a person receives the diagnosis of autism it is the end of the quest for answers. Conversely, it should be the absolute beginning. Autism is a word that describes a subset of symptoms and alerts us to something wrong inside the brain. Language and behaviour are inside the brain. The first question we must ask when a person is diagnosed is .. WHY does my child have autism? Why have the lost language and stare off into space. It just might be because they have a silent sub-clinical seizure disorder that can be easily treated.
Silently Seizing is an urgent call to action.Once these seizures are identified and treated these children function at a much higher level. Please share this information with every family dealing with an autism diagnosis in their child.
My book is available from my website @ I also consult with families on an individual fee for service basis either by email or on the telephone.
For more information contact me @
I have a children’s book “Georgie, The Flying Dog” a book that illustrates unconditional love and acceptance of differences. It comes with a music cd that children really love. It can be ordered by contacting me.
Thank you very much Caren for helping to describe the worth of reading your book.
Caren Haines has very kindly offered a brilliant prize for the giveaway.  One lucky person will receive a copy of her book – Silently Seizing and, if you would like to take up the offer, a free half hour consultation in person, by email or by telephone.
What are you waiting for?
Leave me or Caren a comment and you will be entered to win.  I require an email address to contact you by if you win but this will not be published in your comment as I moderate all comments before posting them.
Good luck!
The giveaway is live immediately and I will leave it going for 1 month to give as many of you as possible the opportunity to enter.

~ by adelesymonds on November 11, 2012.

10 Responses to “Book Review and Guest Post – Silently Seizing by Caren Haines”

  1. This sounds like a book that I’d like to have. I’d love to enter the give away!

  2. With two kids diagnosed on the spectrum this looks like a book I definitely should read. Please enter me for the drawing.

    • Thank you for your interest Jan. I think you will find this book very interesting.
      I have left the giveaway open and will be doing so for another couple of weeks. You have been entered.
      Good Luck

  3. Sounds like a book I must have and any other parent who has a child with Autism.

  4. The title of this book caught my eye and after reading the review I am even more intent on reading this book. My son who has Asperger’s Syndrome,was also evaluated for seizures after having some unusual behaviors observed in pre-school. William had several irregular EEG’s but was never put on medication and now at the age of ten and 5 years after 1 clean EEG I wonder what I,as a mother, have over looked! Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you *Tobi*

    • Tobi,
      I am sure you will learn lots from this book and it is written in a very accessible manner.
      I wish you luck with the draw.

    • I am pleased to announce that you are the winner (generated by of a copy of Silently Seizing by Caren Haines. I will get her to contact you to arrange delivery. Congratulations.

  5. […]… […]

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