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Helpful Tips for Parents with Epileptic Children

mother putting hands on her young daughters face for comfort

Educating your child’s school, teachers, and their peers about epilepsy is surely one of the most helpful tips for parents with epileptic children. Although there may be some limitations, children with epilepsy are perfectly capable of living a normal life and should be treated as such.

Facilitate Knowledge About Epilepsy

Once you become familiar with epilepsy and how it specifically affects your child, share that knowledge with as many people as possible who will come into contact with them regularly. Depending on their age, this could be daycare workers, teachers, coaches, a school nurse, guidance counselor, and their friends. Don’t forget siblings!

Be sure others understand what might happen if your child has a seizure and what they should do, or not do, if it happens. 

Listen to Their Needs

Talk to your child about their epilepsy and then be all ears for whatever they have to say. Listening can become the best support you can possibly give them. Invite them to express their feelings. Do they feel safe and supported at school? On the playground? What do they worry about?

Be sure they understand epilepsy, or as much as they can understand at their particular age. 

Give Your Child Lots of Encouragement

Always speak in a positive fashion and encourage your child to accomplish any goal they can dream of. Treating them like they are fragile will make them be so. They of course need to recognize they have some limitations, but these should not hold them back from enjoying life, making friends, and managing their epilepsy. 

Maintain the Same Routines and Rules for All Siblings

Yes, your epileptic child has some special needs, but don’t allow them special privileges. They need discipline and order just like any other child, and should adhere to the same family rules set for everyone. Discipline them calmly, explain the reasoning behind certain rules, and why certain behaviors are unacceptable. 

Keeping their room clean, making their bed, and helping with chores around the house will serve to make them feel more like every “normal” kid they know, and it can also introduce healthy habits at an early age to help them mature into a well-balanced adult. Talk to a pediatric neurologist if you feel anxious that you could induce a seizure by enforcing restrictions or disciplinary measures.

Teen Years and Epilepsy

Puberty brings on many new issues for all parents, but with an epileptic child these new problems can seem insurmountable. Hormonal changes, strong feelings of independence, and peer pressure can suddenly transform any child into someone unrecognizable. Temptations from drugs, sex, and social media are bombarding all kids in this age range, including yours. The CDC has a parental toolkit that might be helpful if your child is approaching their teen years.

There is support for you as a parent, and you are not alone. Take advantage of every resource to find more helpful tips for you and your child. Contact Pediatric Neurosurgery Group with any questions about how to manage your child’s epilepsy as they grow.

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