Video-EEG monitoring was performed to evaluate 193 children (91 females, 102 males; mean age 9.6 years, SD 5.7) who presented with paroxysmal events of uncertain etiology. Diagnosis of the type of event, i.e. epileptic or non-epileptic, was successfully established in 130 of 193 patients (67.3%). Seventy children (36%) had mental retardation* (MR). Children with MR were more likely (p<0.05) than children without MR to have events during the studies. Children with and without MR had strikingly similar frequencies of epileptic and non-epileptic events. In participants who had events recorded and characterized, epileptic seizures were identified in 67 children (51.5%), non-epileptic events in 54 children (41.5%), and both epileptic and non-epileptic events in nine children (7%). Improved diagnosis prompted appropriate management. This should encourage more frequent use of video-EEG in children, especially in those with MR, to differentiate epilepsy from behavioral disturbances so that specific treatment can be provided.