A number of studies have shown that children with epilepsy have problems with learning and behaviour which may interfere with their progress and enjoyment of school.
To determine the frequency of learning and behaviour difficulties in school-age children with epilepsy.
This is a population-based study in West Sussex. An educational psychologist will assess all school-aged children with ‘active’ epilepsy to identify learning and behaviour difficulties. The team will then work with the children, their schools, the family and professionals involved on how best to improve academic progress.
Brian Neville, Colin Reilly, Patricia Atkinson, Rod Scott, Victoria Burch, Paul McCrone, Richard Chin, Sarah Aylett, Krishna Das, Dame Philippa Russell, Christopher Gillberg
The findings from this project, which provide clear evidence that children with epilepsy have a high rate of difficulties in cognition and behaviour, have been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals including Pediatrics and Research in Developmental Disabilities. The findings also featured on the BBC Sunday Politics Show (South East) and contributed to Young Epilepsy’s Manifesto for Change which was launched at the House of Commons in March 2014.
The report proves how devastating epilepsy can be for a child at school and what can be done to help them achieve their full potential.
The launch of the report coincided with the passing of the Children and Families Act. This presented us with an opportunity to help schools, health and medical workers and local authorities meet their new obligations.