The Childhood Absence Epilepsy (CAE) study is a randomized, double blind, comparative trial of ethosuximide (ETX), lamotrigine (LTG) and valproic acid (VPA) as initial monotherapy for children with CAE. The primary objective is to identify the optimal anticonvulsant (i.e. the AED with highest rate of seizure control and lowest incidence of treatment limiting toxicity) used for initial treatment based on short-term and long-term outcomes.