An absence seizure (formerly known as a petit mal seizure) is a type of generalized seizure that typically occurs without warning and causes lapses of attention lasting from 5 to 30 seconds. Most children with absence seizures experience what physicians call typical absence seizures, which may involve eye blinking, head bobbing, or jerky movements of the face or lips, in addition to the characteristic lapses of attention. Atypical absence seizures are similar but involve a distinctive EEG pattern of slow spike and wave discharges. Atypical absence seizures are usually associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Absence seizures are often called staring seizures.