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Patient, parents and provider

Seattle Children’s Epilepsy Program

The only level 4 epilepsy center in the Pacific Northwest dedicated exclusively to pediatrics.

Seattle Children’s has the largest program on the West Coast to treat babies, children and teens who have repeated seizures. The key to treating your child successfully is to accurately diagnose the type of seizures they have and the type of epilepsy or epilepsy syndrome. Our team has many years of experience in diagnosing and treating epilepsy.

Our Level 4 accreditation from the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC) recognizes that we perform a broad range of complex surgeries and give our patients access to more research studies, clinical trials, and advanced technologies to both diagnose and treat epilepsy.

NAEC Level 4 Epilepsy Center

Epilepsy Program Patient Story

Meet Jiana

At just two weeks old, Jiana started experiencing unusual “freezing” spells. Once at Seattle Children’s, Jiana was diagnosed with severe epilepsy that only the most dramatic brain surgery could cure. Weeks later, Jiana underwent an 8-hour procedure that would giver her a new start, free of seizures. Now a thriving toddler, Jiana is proving nothing can keep her down. 

Epilepsy Program at Seattle Children’s

8500+ Epilepsy Patients
Level 4 Accredited epilepsy center dedicated to pediatrics
480 Epilepsy Surgeries

Consistently ranked one of the nation’s best neurology and neurosurgery programs.

US News and World Report Best Children's Hospitals Badge 2023-2024

Epilepsy Services We Provide

First Time Seizure Clinic

We evaluate children who have had a seizure for the first time to learn more about the type of seizure, its cause and whether they may have epilepsy. It is important to determine if the seizure was provoked (caused by a temporary problem like a concussion or high fever) or is an epileptic seizure. Epilepsy is not the cause of seizures in up to half of children who visit our clinic.

  • At your first visit, a neurology provider evaluates your child and talks with you about seizures.
  • If needed, your child has an EEG, a painless recording of the brain’s electrical activity. The EEG may happen that same day or during a return visit.
  • Some children return to see a neurologist or epilepsy specialist.
Dr. Sarah Leary looking at a computer scan of a brain

Advanced Epilepsy Diagnostics

To help us understand your child’s seizures, make an accurate diagnosis and recommend the best treatment, we monitor them for several days in the hospital with EEG and video. In addition, we use state-of-the-art imaging like functional MRI to see where seizures start in your child’s brain and to protect areas that are important for speaking and moving. Genetic testing helps us diagnose children sooner and more precisely. Identifying the type of seizures your child has and if they have an epilepsy syndrome is the key to successful treatment. Learn more about how we diagnose and treat children with epilepsy.

Doctors in surgery

Epilepsy Brain Surgery Experts

We perform significantly more neurosurgeries than any other children’s hospital in our WAMI region. More cases mean greater expertise and a sharper ability to determine if surgery is even needed – and that adds up to better outcomes. Our skilled use of advanced technology makes brain surgery possible for more children, as well as safer and more precise. We provide the most innovative, minimally invasive surgeries offered by the nation’s top children’s hospitals, including laser ablation for epilepsy and procedures using the ROSA™ robotic surgical tool. These advances offer the chance to live seizure-free for some kids who have run out of treatment options. Read about how an awake brain surgery stopped Jasmine's seziures.


Child and provider pointing at a computer screen

Epilepsy Research

The care we provide your child is advanced by our research in the lab and with patients. For example, our work to identify genes that play a role in epilepsy has opened the door to new therapies that help us personalize your child’s treatment. With the nation’s top leaders in neurological care and research, we offer patients access to promising new treatments being studied in clinical trials. Read more about our extensive epilepsy research.

Epilepsy Conditions We Treat

We see children with a broad range of neurological conditions that involve seizures, including:

Epilepsy Resources for Patients & Families

Support for your whole family

Learning that your child has epilepsy can be stressful for the whole family, which is why our program was designed with a complete support system. Our doctors, nurses, child life specialists and social workers help your child and your family through the challenges of their illness. Whether you live nearby or far away, we can help with financial counseling, school, housing, transportation, interpreter services and spiritual care. We also connect you to community resources and support groups.

Read about our services for patients and families.

A girl plays with her parents at home.

Epilepsy Care Where You Need It