Photo of a boy lying down and staring into distance

Epilepsy impact on emotions & behaviour

Guide for schools

Epilepsy can have a profound effect on a young person's emotions and behaviour. In addition to worries about living a normal life with the condition, many experience negative and unhelpful reactions to epilepsy from people around them. This can produce a range of emotional responses that make academic achievement at school difficult.

Young Epilepsy’s ABLE tool (Assessment of Behaviour and Learning in Epilepsy) is a simple questionnaire that school staff and parents can use to identify areas in behaviour and cognition that might impact a young person’s learning. This information, and any planned support arrangements, should be included in the young person’s Individual Healthcare Plan (IHP).

The ABLE tool questionnaire should be revisited termly to identify any changes in support needs.

 ABLE Tool (Assessment of Behaviour and Learning in Epilepsy)

 Individual Healthcare Plan (template)


Emotional wellbeing

Living with a serious condition such as epilepsy can take an emotional toll on a young person.

Social wellbeing

Epilepsy can often lead to young people feeling left out, but there’s really no reason for them not to enjoy a full social life.

Stigma and bullying

Stigma and bullying is common in epilepsy, often due to widespread misunderstanding about the condition.


Not all young people with epilepsy have behavioural problems, but the chances are higher.

Young Epilepsy Guide for Schools

Other sections of the guide that may be of interest

Young Epilepsy Guide for Schools

UK legal frameworks

An overview of the different laws and systems in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Young Epilepsy Guide for Schools

Key elements of support

The key elements of support that schools should have in place to ensure all young people with epilepsy are safe and included in school life

Young Epilepsy Guide for Schools

About seizures

Information about seizure types, triggers, first aid, treatments, records, and emergency medication for schools