Rural Issues for Children and Families Affected by Epilepsy.Report as inadecuate

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Epilepsy affects approximately one percent of the population, with most cases having onset during childhood. School personnel can best incorporate the child with epilepsy into the classroom and provide support for families by becoming familiar with the types of seizure disorders, the issues that epilepsy presents for children and families, and the supports that children and families need. This paper provides information on: (1) seizure types, what they look like, first aid, and what not to do; (2) common misconceptions and negative attitudes regarding epilepsy that can compromise a child's ability to participate actively in social and school activities; (3) difficulties in diagnosis and medication and resulting family stress; (4) possible scholastic difficulties; and (5) the benefits and drawbacks of rural living and rural schools for children with epilepsy and their families. Two brief case studies illustrate the social, emotional, and academic effects that epilepsy can have on children. Ways in which the school can alleviate some of the problems of students with epilepsy and their families are suggested, including an information seminar for the entire school about epilepsy and associated problems, designating one staff member to be a support person for the student, and maintaining frequent family contacts. Information sources on epilepsy for teachers and family are noted. (SV)

Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, Epilepsy, Family School Relationship, Mainstreaming, Misconceptions, Rural Areas, Rural Schools, Social Adjustment, Social Bias, Special Education, Stress Variables, Student Participation

Author: Ellis, Gail Johnston



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