A photo of school children playing outside

Social wellbeing

Guide for schools

Guide for schools

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.    

Missing out 

Young people with epilepsy often have fewer opportunities to join in activities with their peers and develop social skills and social groups. This can be for a number of reasons: 

  • Over-protection by anxious parents and other responsible adults 
  • Social stigma leading to low self-esteem and reduced motivation to take part in learning and other activities 
  • The young person’s own fear of coming to harm 
  • The young person feeling they are the only one living with the condition 
  • Missing out on invitations to friends’ houses, parties or sleepovers due to other children’s parents not feeling confident about managing seizures 
  • Prolonged absences from school making it difficult to form friendships, join social groups or even take part in playground games 

Living life 

In fact, relatively few restrictions are necessary for young people with epilepsy and they should be encouraged to participate in, and enjoy, a full social life. The following may be helpful: 

  • A mentoring or buddy system may help a young person with epilepsy and broaden understanding of the condition.  
  • You can make adjustments to homework deadlines to help a young person with epilepsy to enjoy extracurricular activities. 
  • A risk assessment for every activity should help put the activity in context for each individual and make it easier for a young person with epilepsy to take part.  

In this section of the guide

Stigma & 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.

Emotional wellbeing

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

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