Epilepsy - help at school
Managing my epilepsy at school
- Having epilepsy shouldn’t stop you living a normal life.
- There are a few activities that may be considered to be high risk if your seizures are not well controlled.
- But even then, with some careful thought and appropriate supervision, you should be able to join in with most things.
It is important that your teachers at school know about your epilepsy and how to look after you if you have a seizure. It is now law that any pupil with a medical condition in school has an Individual Healthcare Plan (IHCP) that outlines their condition and the support that they require. It should also include information on how your epilepsy affects you learning in school.
As everyone’s experience of epilepsy and having seizures may be different, it is important that you tell your teachers what it is like for you and how best they can support you.
Young Epilepsy has produced a number of free resources for both young people with epilepsy and those who support them at school or home. www.youngepilepsy.org.uk
- Check with my parents / carers about what to do if I have a seizure.
- Make sure you know about my particular condition as epilepsy does not affect everyone in the same way.
- I may need time to recover after a seizure and might need to sleep.
Computers and lights
- If I am one of the 5% of learners with photosensitive epilepsy, my seizures are triggered by flashing or flickering lights or by geometric patterns such as checks or stripes.
- Computers and TVs with a flat screen do not flicker and so are less likely to trigger seizures than screens that do flicker.
- However, fast-moving or flashing images on the screen could be a trigger.
- Other photosensitive triggers include flickering overhead lights, and sunlight creating patterns through blinds.
- I might feel tired and have problems with memory or concentration after taking my anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs).
- It is really important that I am included in school trips and residentials.
- You will need to arrange a pack containing my emergency medication and agreement from my parents.
- It is also important that you have the details of the local hospital just in case there is an emergency.
Sports and Activities
- There is no reason why I cannot take part in a range of sports and activities as long as the risks have been assessed.
- My medical advisors can give school the information they need to allow school to arrange the best options for PE and other activities.
- The most common precaution is that there is supervision and a trained person is on hand should I have a seizure.
- This also applies to swimming.
It makes a huge difference for me to know that there is an adult at my school who knows all about my condition and who I can talk to if I am worried or unwell.