Wow, it’s almost that time of year again; “Back to School” for our children. This past year a lot of things I heard parents and some friends discussing were the lack of understanding and knowledge of epilepsy by their child’s teacher and school administrators. Some of the things that were mentioned were very upsetting to the parents and some rightfully so, because it is clear that epilepsy and seizures are still not fully taken seriously. Therefore with this new school year I am hoping to jump right on in and give my own version of epilepsy 101 to some of the local schools in my own community.
What I want all teachers and school administrators to know is that there are resources out there to help you– one in particular I highly recommend for parents, all educators, school officials is www.epilepsyclassroom.com.
Epilepsy Classroom is a tremendous program for parents, teachers and school officials to help you, not only spread and bring epilepsy awareness to the classroom, but doing so in a manner that is both factual and very informative. This information is accurate and helpful to both students and teachers and it helps to bring out what every child wants to feel: acceptance. How does it accomplish this, you may ask? By helping you, as teachers, provide that type of environment.
Epilepsy Classroom provides lesson plans which are grade and age appropriate, and they provide the materials which will help you to be able to handle the situation. It’s critical for teachers and school administrators to know the following: how to react to a seizure, how to talk to your classroom when they witness ,another student or friend having a seizure, what to do during the seizure. They also provide you with a slideshow presentation to watch. Anything and everything you do to prepare yourself for, and in the event, of a seizure is to your benefit.
What parents need to do is as equally important; you must be prepared for the new school year and again, there are some great resources on epilepsyclassroom.com for parents; who you should inform, how to talk to your child’s teacher, being able to work together to overcome the stigma of epilepsy, along with some great printable resources and information you can share with the school staff on the symptoms and possible triggers of seizures.
Another great idea is a “Picture of My Child” letter for the teacher. As we all know, the IEP can be a very overwhelming document. A picture along with a brief paragraph of who your child is offers the teacher some great insight as to what she/he can expect and what works best for him/her. It is as important to prepare your teacher as it is your child.
Helpful hints to share with teachers on other special needs such as Autism, ADHD, Emotional Behavior Disabled, Intellectually Disabled, Leaning Disabled, Physically Impaired, and Seizure Disorder can be found here: https://specialchildren.about.com/od/specialeducation/tp/Education-Faq-For-Special-Needs.htm
Being prepared and starting off the 2013/2014 school year will only enhance the experience you want for your child in school. Not only in their education but also in having open, honest communication at all times between the parents, teachers and school administrators. This will give you piece of mind that should an incident occur at school, your child is indeed in good hands. After all, you want your child to feel safe and secure in your absence and to develop a love of learning. Hope you all have a fantastic school year!
About the Author: Susan Noble
As President and Founder of the Epilepsy Warriors Susan Noble is striving to reach as many people within the local communities to help educate and bring an end to the stigma of Epilepsy. It takes team work. It involves supporting each other in all efforts. It means showing the world that Epilepsy is worth researching, fighting for, and funding. We are all fighting for a CURE for our children and those “Living with Epilepsy” every day. We are a new foundation one with a passionate vision. This vision will light our path, and guide us towards our goals of “enlightening, empowering and curing.”
Susan and her family reside in Fort Myers, Florida otherwise known as her little slice of paradise.and in Chicago, IL