Epilepsy.com Editor-In-Chief Dr. Joseph Sirven interviews Cindy Hiltz, Anoka-Hennepin District 11 Health Services Coordinator, and Katherine Nickels MD about the Seizure Smart School District in Minnesota.
Do you or your child have epilepsy? Do your school teachers, nurses, and other personnel know about epilepsy and what to do?
This week’s Hallway Conversation addresses seizures and schools, a critically important area for many. Once a child reaches school age, they spend more awake time in school settings than at home. For a child or teenager with epilepsy whose seizures are not controlled, this means school personnel need to know many things, for example:
Before returning to school, call your school and find out what procedures and policies are in place that relate to epilepsy.
It’s also important for parents and students to be prepared and know what to do. Set up an appointment with the child’s epilepsy team in the summer to
This can be a lot of information so ask to meet with an epilepsy nurse if one is available or set up a long enough appointment with the pediatric neurologist to get all this done.
Parents should take time on a regular basis, especially before starting a new school year, to check in with their child. It is very important to know how the child or teen feels and make sure their needs get met. Don’t focus just on the seizures – look beyond them.
Summer time is a time for fun and to unwind from the school year. But’ it’s also time to prepare for what’s coming next. For a child or teen with seizures, it’s the next year and all that may come with this. Your child or teen will need to prepare for the typical school and social challenges, yet these may be greatly influenced by the seizures. New challenges may also arise because of having epilepsy. Spend some time this summer assessing and tackling these issues in advance. Being prepared can make so much difference for everyone.
Best wishes and be prepared!
Patty O. Shafer RN, MN
Associate Editor/Community Manager