Originally Posted by AtYourCervices
Take your child to the doctor and get her tested to rule out Petit Mal seizures. It doesn't sound like that's actually what's going on. She's 20 months (absence seizures are more common as a person gets older) and he's saying these spells last several minutes (typically these kinds of seizures only last a few seconds). It actually sounds like her father is a bit of a hypochondriac. A little information can be a very bad thing.
However, these spells COULD be seizures. One trigger can be the child being over tired. You said yourself that you've noticed your DD having these spells when she's tired. She could be having more seizures in her father's presence due to environmental triggers. Does he smoke around her or allow others to smoke around her? Does he give her soda or other beverages that contain caffeine? Does he let her cry it out or is she upset around him to the point of hyperventilation?
Even if she does have epilepsy, that wouldn't mean she's slow in any way. It wouldn't mean she's not advanced. Typically these kinds of seizures have no impact on intelligence.
It's easy for a parent who spends the majority of the time with a child to miss certain signals. A less active parent can be more prone to notice changes and they'll be more willing to suggest possible problems b/c they're not the "primary parent" and it's not their "fault". But it should never be a blame game.
Anyways, suggest the father record one of your DDs absence spells and take him with to the doctors.
This is exactly what I wanted to say. Have your ped refer you to a pediatric neurologist, and your dd can have a non-invasive EEG test. My husband is brilliant and I was considered gifted as a child, and we both have Ph.Ds. When we were children, he would space out for a couple minutes, and I would space out for a minute or so. We were both diagnosed with petit mal seizures as children. We both grew up with a perfectly normal childhood, and we are perfectly normal adults. But symptom like this needs to be followed up.
Even if your ex is usually crazy abusive and hypochondriac, he might actually be right this time, and the issue might be medical, not emotional. The spacing out for 3 minutes at a time would be enough to motivate me to talk to the pediatrician.