LKS or Infantile Aphasia  is a rare epileptic disorder which typically starts between 3 – 7 years of age and results in loss of acquired language ( acquired aphasia). The epileptic seizures affect that cortical area (in the brain) which is responsible for speech processing and comprehension. Affected children have are reported to have gradual loss of learned speech, auditory agnosia , abnormal epileptiform activity, behavioural disturbances and sometimes overt seizures. The identifying symptom of LKS is presence of subclinical seizure activity that is detected only in electroencephalograms (EEGs). Seizures normally occur during sleep.The overt seizures don’t often coincide with the loss of language.  Also medicines that control seizures doesn’t improve loss of language.

This condition occurs twice more in males than in females. It’s a rare disorder and its exact cause is still under research.

This disorder is usually misdiagnosed and is confused with Autism Spectrum difficulties.

Features

  1. Speech and Language
    1. Language regression is noticed when children don’t seem to understand what is spoken to them. Audiological tests are normal. The language deterioration is gradual.
    2.  Verbal expressive language deteriorates. Reduced use of complex sentences, use of jargon speech, word finding deficits, dysomnia (child may say ‘crayon’ for a ‘marker’) paraphasias (child may say ‘cut’ for ‘scissors’) and mutism are reported.
    3. Misarticulaitons, apraxia and voice deviances may also be present.
    4. Auditory processing deficits are present. Poor auditory memory and difficulty in understanding in noise are characteristic features.
    5. Strong visual learning skills
    6. Reading writing might be preserved
  2. Behavioural
    1. Children affected by LKS show behavioural disturbances.
    2. Hyperactive with poor attention span
    3. Aggression
    4. Anxiety disorder
    5. Negativity, nightmares, tantrums, depression and withdrawal are also reported
  3. IQ
    1. Reported to be poor
    2. Although interventions can improve the IQ with time

Intervention

A multi dimensional approach to intervention including a host of professionals is warranted in LKS. Neurologists, Pediatricians,Speech Language Pathologists, Clinical psychologists, Special Educators and Behavioural specialists are all important to facilitate progress of children challenged with this disorder.