If your child has one seizure that occurs as a direct result of a single event, such as illness, injury or trauma, this is a provoked seizure, which is not necessarily indicative of epilepsy. Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures -- meaning seizures that seem to occur without a direct cause. However, with a thorough evaluation and diagnostic testing, it is often possible to identify the underlying cause of a child's epilepsy. Yet in some cases, the exact cause may still remain unclear.
After two or more unprovoked seizures, your child may be diagnosed with pediatric epilepsy. If your child's epilepsy is drug-resistant, meaning his or her seizures cannot be controlled with two or more treatment courses of anticonvulsant medication, this is often referred to as intractable epilepsy or refractory epilepsy.