Seizures are the most commonly occurring paroxysmal events of childhood. There are a large number of other disorders, however, that present with discrete attacks separated by symptom-free intervals. The differentiation of these conditions from seizures depends on a willingness to consider alternate diagnoses and a thorough review of the history of the events. Laboratory tests, and especially the electroencephalogram, are aids to diagnosis, but reliance on laboratory data has many pitfalls. The clinical features of the important nonepileptic paroxysmal disorders of childhood are reviewed.