Better futures for young lives with epilepsy and associated conditions
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Inclusion in education: what helps? What hinders?

Children with epilepsy at school can experience difficulties with inclusion in education. They may be excluded from activities that are mistakenly considered to be unsafe for them. They may also be excluded in more subtle ways, through failure to provide the specialist help they may need to learn and have the same opportunities as their peers.

Aim

To get a better understanding of the potential difficulties faced by children with epilepsy and identify the steps that could be taken to ensure that they have every opportunity to be fully included in all aspects of school life.

Outline plan

To interview children with epilepsy and their families on their experiences with local education services and support. The team will then identify steps that could be taken to ensure that children have every opportunity to be fully included in all aspects of school life.

Update

This project has now completed and key findings include:

  • Failure by some education professionals and others to recognise the variety of ways epilepsy can present, e.g. that ‘tonic-clonic’ seizures (previously known as ‘grand mal’ seizures) are the only form of seizure.
  • Failure to appreciate the connection between epilepsy and additional learning needs for some children. Seizure symptoms and difficulties related to epilepsy may be misinterpreted as ‘naughtiness’.
  • Access to high quality medical treatment is a significant facilitating factor for inclusion in education - consultants, epilepsy nurse specialists and other medical professionals have been shown to play an important role for these children.

This report illustrates that misconceptions about epilepsy is the significant barriers to inclusion in education for children with epilepsy.

Cyber EssentialsFundraising RegulatorYoung Epilepsy is the operating name of The National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy (NCYPE).
Registered Charity number 311877 (England and Wales)

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