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Epilepsy: Impact On The Life Of A Child

As a parent of a child with epilepsy, it can seem like an uphill battle to get all of your child's needs met. School personnel may have basic knowledge about seizures and other safety-related concerns. However, they may not be aware of the impact that epilepsy has on a child's emotional, social, and physical development. There may be typical behaviors associated with epilepsy that could be misinterpreted and mismanaged in favor of keeping order in the classroom.

Here are some things you should know to help your child grow and thrive as well as foster their unique talents in an environment that is welcoming and safe.

What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a brain disorder that manifests to varying degrees in patients. Patients experience blackouts, seizures, and loss of motor control periodically, causing safety concerns if these episodes aren't anticipated and addressed. Although many medications now subdue the effects of seizures, some children experience difficulty in regulating their symptoms that can pose to be challenging. By understanding the uniquechallenges that children with epilepsy face, we can better serve them and give them the tools that they need to navigate their world successfully.

The Academic Impact of Epilepsy

The intellectual abilities of children with epilepsy are comparable to those without abnormal brain activity, although they are at higher risk for developing learning problems and underachievement. Concentration, memory, and organizational skills can all be a struggle for some children with epilepsy.

In children with poorly regulated seizure activity, fatigue is a common occurrence that makes learning and keeping focused attention on studies difficult. Despite the many learning challenges that epileptic children face, they can experience academic successes if modifications are made and adequate support is given.

The Emotional and Behavioral Impact of Epilepsy

Unfortunately, emotional and behavioral challenges are quite common for children with epilepsy. Some common emotional and behavioral concerns for epileptic children include:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hyperactivity
  • Aggression
  • At times, periods of irrational rage

Characteristically, these emotional and behavioral issues can occur quite suddenly and without provocation, making it extremely difficult to anticipate what the next care steps will be. Working with children to recognize their body's signals and identify their emotional responses can be a valuable life skill.

Epilepsy is a complex condition that does have a significant impact on the life of a child. However, it does not have to be a life experience that ostracizes and isolates them from others. With academic, social, and emotional support, these children can grow and thrive and find a satisfying quality of life despite their diagnosis.

If your child is struggling with managing their epilepsy we can help. Contact Amor Mehta MD - Neurology Center for Epilepsy & Seizures, LLC today at (732) 800-4587 to learn how we can help you care for your loved one as well as assist you with the prevention and limitation of seizure occurrences.