Staring episodes in children may be ictal or nonictal, and telemetry helps make this distinction. Twenty-seven children referred to our service for elucidating the nature of their staring spells were studied by telemetry. No staring events were recorded in four children. The staring events were not associated with electroencephalographic (EEG) changes in 12 children. In 11 children, the staring events had EEG accompaniments: four had generalized spike-and-wave changes; three had focal or asymmetrical changes; and four had generalized decrement (desynchronization), which has not been described before as an electrical correlate of staring. EEG video telemetry in this group of patients led to accurate diagnosis and appropriate medical, surgical or behavioral management. (J Child Neurol 1992;7:39-43).