Talking To Your Child’s School About Epilepsy
Talking to your child’s school about epilepsy can be difficult at first. Explaining your child’s seizures to school personnel can be difficult if they have no prior knowledge of children experiencing epilepsy, or identifying your child’s type of seizures. Since epilepsy is not widely discussed, many people have had to do their own research to present the information and educate their child’s teachers and school administrators.
Epilepsy can affect learning in many ways. We will find ways to help people with epilepsy learn strategies to help master concepts and retain information. Finding your best learning style will help you remember important information in a more reliable way.
Experiencing epilepsy while attending school is extremely difficult for students. The seizures and the AED medications affect their learning, attention, memory, self esteem and more. Here is a great article from Massachusetts General Hospital for parents of children with epilepsy to present to their teachers to help them understand your child’s learning processes. Print the article out, highlight the information you feel is factual for your child and present this to your child’s teacher, as well as the school psychologist. It may help them understand the best ways to help your child successfully learn.
Learning Disabilities and Epilepsy
– Seizures can make learning disabilities in students with epilepsy much more prevalent
This is a video from the Epilepsy Foundation to learn about epilepsy and how to manage seizures in the classroom. Click on the link above to watch and learn more. Understanding what is happening can help teachers learn how to best assist that student in successful learning. Know that there are over 40 different types of seizures.
Seizure Action Plan
SeizureActionPlan – Click on this link to download a copy of a seizure action plan to share with your school’s health clinic. This allows for a plan to be in place when your child has a seizure at school.
How to share your child’s information with school
IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Center for Parent Information and Resources – Check out this website to learn the rights that your child has thanks to IDEA – the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Any person diagnosed by a neurologist with epilepsy has rights to receive appropriate and free education.
Below are a handful of resources – both videos and informational packets that can help you explain epilepsy to the appropriate personnel.
- If you are looking for help with talking to your child’s school administrators about learning and epilepsy, Empowering Epilepsy can help. Many schools are unsure of what to do when creating an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) or 504 plan for epilepsy, as seizures and side effects take so many different forms. We understand first hand the needs of your students in the classroom. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- In Cleveland, Ohio, the Epilepsy Association provides Epilepsy Education to local schools. If you are looking for an in-service to provide epilepsy education as well as seizure first aid for students or staff at your child’s school, call Lacey Wood at the Epilepsy Association of Cleveland at 216-579-1330 or click here to learn more.
- Here is a great video from the Epilepsy Foundation for teachers and other school personnel to learn more about students experiencing seizures at school and how you can help them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NrQ_O1fwi
- A great toolkit for Parents of Children with Epilepsy, as well as Teachers of Children with Epilepsy was created by the Epilepsy Foundation and can be found on this page in the bottom left hand corner. Click on the toolkit link. http://www.epilepsy.com/information/parents
- You can also read more information about Epilepsy and School on the National Epilepsy Foundation’s page here.
- Here’s a great article about Quality of Life for Children with Epilepsy. It points out the important role parental and peer support play in a child with epilepsy’s life. It also accurately describes how a child with epilepsy’s mental health should be an area of focus for everyone involved in their daily care (Neurologists, Pediatrician, Parents, Family, Friends, Teachers, School Administrators). Psychologists also need to learn more about how to address these issues appropriately to allow these students to learn how they can be successful instead of solely focused on the negative effects of their seizures.
If you would like to learn more, or would like to meet someone who can help you talk to your school about your child’s epilepsy, please contact Empowering Epilepsy at email@example.com or 440-248-6158.