Child at school

Useful tips for coping with epilepsy at school

School is often difficult for children with epilepsy, especially because fellow pupils and also teachers do not know much about it, which creates prejudice. It is therefore very important to create openness about the condition epilepsy and also to properly inform the students about what it really is. Read below some tips on how to do this.

1. The student can give a presentation or small talk about epilepsy. It is vital that fellow students/pupils know what to expect and what epilepsy is and how to deal with it once it happens in the classroom or in the school yard. The book "Mommy, what is epilepsy?” can be used as teaching material to provide additional information to students.

2.It is very important that the teacher is very understanding of the student with epilepsy, that the teacher understands the situation and also makes sure that the child feels safe at school and comfortable in class and on the playground. Listening to the child is important in order to get to the bottom of the problem. You can do this for example with a photo-interview or if the child does not dare to tell about her worries and her epilepsy an I-book is also a good plan. The child can describe herself in the 'I book' at home with a parent after which Epilepsy and how she experiences it at school will be discussed automatically. It can help the child to come out of her shell.

3.The student often has learning problems such as ADHD. Enormous concentration problems are often a major shortcoming of students with epilepsy. Therefore it is sometimes wise to adapt the learning material and also the instruction. For example, you can think of addressing the child by her name before you ask something, often the child does not hear it. You can also reduce or make assignments smaller, move a test when she has had an attack just before, you can put her aside during a test or give extra time for subjects that the student has difficulty with. She does not want to feel like an exception and would like to be seen as normal as possible by teachers and students.

Want more tips? Then order the book: “Epilepsy and/or AD(H)D at school” A guide for professional teachers, parents and caretakers.

I hope you found this article informative and I would love to hear your thoughts!

Maarten Janssen

Books written by Maartje Janssen

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