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Epilepsy & Contact Sport

(7 Posts)
Verbena37 Fri 02-Sep-16 20:54:31

Hi,
Just quickly wondering whether anyone has a child with temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis and who has refused to let their child play contact sport at a state school?

I know it may seem an odd question but with a child with epilepsy and ASD, we aren't keen for him to play contact sport at age 11. Whilst I realise the risk of injury just because he has epilepsy is probably the same as neurotypical children, however, with concussion, it's even more damage to an already impaired brain.

I read today that head injuries can further aggravate seizures and that subsequent concussions are cumulative in brain damage. DH and I don't wrap him up in cotton wool, however much increased risk of injury playing contact sport does mean that we aren't happy for him to play rugby.

Anybody else in the same boat?
I realise I'll get people telling me the benefits of letting him play but having looked at the evidence, non consented, forced playing of contact sports isn't something we believe is right. I was really eager to know if people specifically had children with hippocampal sclerosis who didn't allow it either.

Thanks.

booksandcoffee Fri 02-Sep-16 21:21:58

Hi,

Sorry to hear about your child's health, I hope things improve soon.

I have a history of temporal lobe epilepsy, ultimately resolved by an amygdalahippocampectomy and medication. I don't know anything about hippocampal sclerosis, but that might be it was never mentioned to me as a 3 year old. For what it is worth, I did all the standard contact sports for boys and although I was rubbish at them I am glad I did. I never got concussion in the 5 years I did them. I understand your concerns and the risk is there, but what is much more likely is your child's desire not to be seen as different by his (?) peers. Is that fair comment? What you could do is talk to the school and ask that he play in the back row. Although that involves the risk of being tackled it involves much less physical contact, especially head contact, than being a prop, which I was.

booksandcoffee Fri 02-Sep-16 21:38:56

I just looked up hippocampal sclerosis, it is not what I had but there may be similarities with the side effects of my operation. Are there memory issues?

Verbena37 Fri 02-Sep-16 21:47:24

Thanks for you're reply.
The hippocampal sclerosis was a 'possible'.
I think they were very unsure of everything which was annoying. They were sketchy about anything definite and yet the scans showed a definite difference on the effected side.

I just don't understand why young children need to put anywhere on a rugby pitch, front of back, if other kids are the. Going to ram them and possibly cause concussion. He doesn't actually want anything to do with rugby and said he'll run in the opposite direction and not go near anybody and thought of people grabbing his knees and pulling him over is unthinkable to him. He hates being touched by other people which is his ASD.

Memory-wise, he can't remember lists of jobs for example but not sure if that's a processing thing to do with the ASD or epilepsy and short term memory loss.

booksandcoffee Fri 02-Sep-16 22:29:56

Sorry, I was not really considering the ASD. Taking his view into account there is not much point in him being on the field, if he will only run the other way. Rather than just using the potential for concussion as an argument you could use anxiety as a reason. I work with a few people with aspergers and it seems to me that has a far greater likelihood of anxiety occurring with ASD sufferers than concussion. You could say that, depending on the severity of his disorder, any anxiety could make him a liability in a sport like rugby and both he and his team mates would be better off if he was doing something like playing badminton or athletics.

As for the memory problems, there are some really good pamphlets about memory assistance techniques. Any good epilepsy clinic should have some. Epilepsy Action is also good for this sort of thing. www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/memory/enhancement-strategies No doubt there are other sites worth looking at. Good luck with getting things sorted.

Verbena37 Fri 02-Sep-16 23:36:45

That's all really helpful, thank you so much smile.

Hockeydude Fri 02-Sep-16 23:44:55

No way would I want him playing rugby. Sounds like it would be extra risky and torture for him anyway - a boy tackling him will be a "grab" and a "fall" which for someone with ASD is horrible, even if no concussions occur. But in fact, these are extremely common in school rugby and I wouldn't risk it. I'd write a letter making sure you have cited everything medical, including anxiety and distress and if the school don't approve it (they probably will as they'll be scared of being held responsible for any injury) get your GP to do a letter stating he is unfit for it.

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