Support Epilepsy Smart Schools Initiative
As part of Epilepsy awareness month, Reduce Home Loans is dedicating support toward research and funding toward epileptic research; and raising awareness for the need to support families affected by the disorder.
Epilepsy isn’t just one disorder. It is a family of brain disorders that causes convulsive and non-convulsive seizures.
This disorder can affect people at any age regardless of heritage or gender – including children. More support must be offered particularly to young children who develop this disorder.
While the actual cause of epilepsy can vary: from brain trauma, to genetic history, to degenerative diseases and more, 50% of diagnosed cases develop from unknown causes.
Kids with Epilepsy
Epilepsy developed in young children tends to originate from their genetic makeup, and it can truly impact their lives growing up, particularly in schools and social environments.
Due to the often sudden and confronting nature of the seizure symptoms, many kids with epilepsy find it hard to receive acceptance and support from those around them. Education is such an important part of a child’s development, which is why Epilepsy Australia, together with the Australian Government have developed the Epilepsy Smart Schools initiative.
Epilepsy Smart Schools
As well as from the stigma and discrimination kids (and adults) with epilepsy experience in their schooling life, there are a number of other issues that can confront kids living with the disorder. Each child’s experience is different as epilepsy has various strands, symptoms and effects. Children can experience difficulties retaining information, significant lapses in concentration and disruptive seizures.
An Epilepsy Smart School engages in inclusive, save and educationally supportive practice for students every age living with epilepsy.
You can see Chris’s story living with epilepsy in an Epilepsy Smart School
To be recognised by the Government and community as an Epilepsy Smart School, schools must adhere to three steps which aid in epileptic students’ development:
- Schools must hold epilepsy management plans. This can include emergency steps to be taken should a student suffer from seizure symptoms, and staff must complete Epilepsy and Emergency Medication training to administer appropriate medication in such cases.
- Staff and teachers within schools must be aware of the impact of epilepsy on the student. Staff must undergo training to gain understanding of the psychological, social and cognitive impact of students with epilepsy and how to support their development in and out of the classroom. Training staff in understanding these impacts will ensure the school is within expectations of the Disability Standards for Education 2005 act.
- Understanding epilepsy is not limited to staff and affected students. The school must hold events that promote awareness of the disorder to better educate the whole student body.
What can you do to help?
You can check if a nearby school is an Epilepsy Smart School by contacting them. If you have any questions or concerns about a student with epilepsy contact the Epilepsy Australia Information Line on 1300 852 853.
Teach your own family about the impact of epilepsy among children, how to support them and promote tolerance and understanding toward the disorder.
Researchers are continuing to develop analytical technologies that can help find the specific cause of the disorder.
Please generously help us support kids in need by raising awareness.