Sam’s Law (HB684)
Epilepsy and Your Child’s School
Going to school can be stressful for children with epilepsy. They may worry about having a seizure in class or how other students will react. Parents are also anxious. They often worry that their child’s teacher may not know how to handle an epileptic seizure, or that their child may be treated unfairly because of epilepsy.
Most children with epilepsy attend school and can participate in activities. Some may need to take medicine at school, require help with certain subjects, or be given extra time on tests. It is important that Teachers and school staff be able to recognize seizure activity and react accordingly. That is where communication with the student and their parents becomes crucial. Every student with seizures should have a Seizure Action Plan. This plan should be provided to all administrative staff and teachers at the school.
- Seizure Action Plan
- Epilepsy Fast Facts
- Seizure First Aid
- Supporting Students with Epilepsy at School
- Brochure: Epilepsy in Children – Learning & School Performance
- Brochure: Epilepsy in Children – The Teacher’s Role
Fighting Epilepsy Stigma in Your Child’s School
Seizures can be frightening for students and witnesses, especially if they have never witnessed another person having a seizure, or if they are unsure of how to help. Fear can lead to misunderstandings and prejudices, from other students, teachers and school staff. Coping with reactions of people at school who don’t understand epilepsy is just one example of the stigma that you and your child may face. It’s important to fight these misunderstandings and prejudices when you encounter them. Explain to others that children with epilepsy are usually just as capable as other kids. You may meet people who call your child an “epileptic.” Explain why the term isn’t used anymore: A child with epilepsy isn’t defined by this condition. Instead, epilepsy is usually a small part of his or her life.
Educating Your Child’s Classmates
Educating your child’s classmates early on about proper seizure first aid and epilepsy can reduce stigma, decrease fear, and improve the overall acceptance of your child. Here are some suggestions about how to inform others:
- Consider reaching out to school staff to explore educating your child’s classmates. Keep your child involved in the education process, too. There are many educational programs and tools available to help teachers create a basic epilepsy program.
- Be a special guest/presenter for the day. Use the curriculum available here.
- Visit the Epilepsy Foundation’s Public Awareness page for information and ideas on talking about epilepsy, as well as a curriculum for training middle school and high school students.