Did you know that some students with complex partial seizures have received detention or been suspended for having seizures in class? Their teachers didn’t know they had epilepsy and instead, thought they were just acting out!

Whether you’ve had seizures ever since you were a little kid, or they’re something new, you’ll want to let your teachers know that you have epilepsy. Make sure to tell them what your seizures look like (they might assume all seizures mean falling to the ground) and let them know what to do in terms of first aid. You may find it helpful to bring a note from your doctor or have the Seizures and You: Take Charge of the Facts, an educational program, available for your teachers.

Every teacher is different, but it’s probably best to tell the teacher that you need to talk about something privately after class. Your teacher may ask what causes your seizures and might want to know if you have any advance warning. If you know the answers to these questions, let him or her know. If not, just be honest. If you need any special accommodations such as extended time during tests, let the teacher know and provide the appropriate documentation.

It will be up to you if your teacher tells the rest of the class about your epilepsy or if they allow you to explain epilepsy to other students. If you are still having seizures pretty regularly, you might want to tell people so they know what’s going on. If you haven’t had a seizure for a while, it’s still important to tell your teachers, just in case.

Your teachers can also receive training on epilepsy through the Seizure Training for School Personnel program. They can take the program online, or order a copy for themselves through the Foundation’s online store.

Talking to the school medical staff

If your school has a nurse or medical professional on-site, you’ll want to make sure they know about your epilepsy. If you’re nervous about talking to your teachers or fellow students, the nurse or health professional may be able to help.

The school medical professional will probably know a good deal about epilepsy. As a result, they may ask medical questions that you don’t know the answers to. If you don’t know, just be honest. You might suggest they talk to your parents or your doctor.

If your school medical staff isn’t familiar with epilepsy, they can receive training through the Foundation’s school nurses training program.

Make sure you ask about the school rules about epilepsy drugs:

  • If you have to take some of your medicine while you’re at school, what should you do?
  • If your medicine will be kept in a locked cabinet in the nurse’s office, what should you do if the nurse is busy or out sick?
  • If you have to stay late at school for a club or other activity, will you have access to the medicine?
  • If you start to feel strange and think you may have a seizure, should you go to the nurse’s office?
  • If you have a seizure at school, will they call your parents?