Epilepsy (also called Seizure Disorder) is a medical condition that affects 65 million people worldwide and over two million Americans. A seizure is a sudden, abnormal burst of electrical activity in the brain which can last from seconds to minutes. Seizures vary from person to person and may manifest in subtle ways such as blank staring, fidgeting and lip smacking to very visible jerking of arms and legs, whole body convulsions and loss of consciousness.
Can epilepsy be cured?
Although there is no cure at the current time, anti-seizure medications are a common treatment for epilepsy. Special diets, surgery or devices are also used to help control or reduce seizures.
What do I need to think about for my child’s IEP?
Federal laws known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 guarantee children with disabilities a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. Students with epilepsy may be eligible for services under the category of Otherwise Health Impaired.
The Individualized Educational Program is a process that results in a document, the individualized education plan (IEP), which guides the student’s education. This means parents and educators work together to make an educational plan that provides supports, services, accommodations and modifications that are individualized for the student. These supports and services are designed to help the student learn within the general educational curriculum along with other students.
Is there some technology that can help my child?
Assistive technology is a related service listed in IDEA. Technology is a key to leveling the playing field for individuals with disabilities. Check out the TechMatrix for suggestions for finding educational and assistive technology products for students with disabilities. Learn more on our Assistive Technology webpage.
Where can I find support?
- Epilepsy Foundation Michigan
- Epilepsy Foundation E Groups
- Epilepsy Foundation: Information for Parents