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Child with epilepsy

(16 Posts)
putonyourdancingshoes Fri 03-Feb-17 19:33:44

Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone here can advise.

I have a 9 year old pupil in my class with epilepsy. On initial numeracy assessment in August last year she achieved a reasonable score and so I put her in my top numeracy group. However, her numeracy abilities have seriously deteriorated and she now attends support for learning sessions and is currently working on subtraction within 20. She also appears to have some processing difficulties and needs lots of prompting/thinking time to answer simple questions.

Now, she regularly has days off here and there...say 1/2 days a fortnight. Some of these could be debated as to whether they are genuine health issues but I don't know how this could lead to such a marked deterioration. She had one seizure in September which resulted in hospitalisation so i could maybe attribute the decline to brain damage/memory loss?

Has anyone had any experience of this? Just looking to find out if this is a common issue for children with epilepsy and possible support.

Thanks in advance!

Prettybaffled Fri 03-Feb-17 23:43:18

Not a teacher but have a dd with epilepsy in extended family

This site has a teachers' online course you can do
learn.epilepsy.org.uk/training-for-schools

3dancingladies Fri 03-Feb-17 23:49:13

This is useful

www.youngepilepsy.org.uk/307-guide-for-schools-understanding-epilepsy-1/file.html

noblegiraffe Fri 03-Feb-17 23:57:28

I taught a girl with epilepsy in secondary who was top set for maths in Y7 then slowly slid down the groups until she was struggling to pass GCSE (I can't remember if she did). She was put on some very strong medication in Y7/8 as she kept having seizures and she often struggled to focus and seemed away with the fairies. I'm not sure if it was the medication or the epilepsy that caused it but your OP reminded me of her.

FannyFifer Sat 04-Feb-17 00:00:21

Are you passing on your concerns..
Possibly due to prolonged seizures or medication she is on.

catslife Sat 04-Feb-17 18:22:11

You need to speak with the SENCO. Does this child have an EHCP or Medical Needs Plan?
Has anything changed recently e.g. new medication?
Have any other assessments for additional learning difficulties been done e.g. does she need extra time? Do other teachers /members of staff have any concerns?
My understanding (also have epilepsy in the family) is that it's quite rare for the seizures themselves to cause a deterioration unless there is some additional factor causing the epilepsy that you are unaware of.
There are some medical conditions e.g. genetic conditions where epilepsy is accompanied by additional learning difficulties so this sort of information may also be useful for the medical professionals as well.

Prettybaffled Sat 04-Feb-17 20:15:09

I have been told actually now I come to think of it that periods of epileptic activity (not just full blown seizures but also eg lots of mini absences) prevent the brain from learning and developing as it should. Have you asked her parents what they think?

Laselva Sat 04-Feb-17 20:24:16

I recently had the opposite of this, a Y6 child who was very low ability. She had joined the school in Y5 and parents had not told school of any history of epilepsy or that she was on medication. It felt like overnight she changed from a child who was making barely any progress and had a terrible memory, to one who was grasping new concepts and making links in her learning. I managed to get hold of her dad one day to say how well she was doing and he mentioned she had stopped her medication (in doctors advice). I have no doubt that the medication had a significant effect on her achievement.

Sleeperandthespindle Sun 05-Feb-17 08:23:34

Most of the children I teach have epilepsy and, as indicated upthread, it can have a profound effect on learning. Multiple absence seizures that you might not notice have an obvious effect on concentration and the ability to learn (as the student won't have heard/ seen key parts of the work). Medication has a huge effect in some cases as well, with really difficult side effects.
Can your senco give you more information about this student - via the paediatrician/ neurologist maybe?

putonyourdancingshoes Sun 05-Feb-17 12:05:03

Thanks for all your advice everyone. I have highlighted my concerns to support for learning, HT and parent. She was recently observed by educational psychologist...(typically EP came on a day when she was relatively engaged with the learning). I'm still awaiting the EP report. I will definitely broach subject again with a view to asking mum to seek advice from consultant re medication.

catslife Sun 05-Feb-17 15:34:26

I think it depends on the type of seizures OP. One seizure that requires a hospital stay probably won't make much difference unless something else has changed e.g. medication dose/type. But multiple smaller seizures such as absence seizures that occur during the school day might affect concentration and learning. Just to complicate things, some people may have more than one type of seizure.
My experience is with the former type of seizure which may be why my posts appear different to other posters.
The absence rate would be looked at elsewhere e.g. by attendance officer/management. Any child who missed school this regularly would be a cause for concern imo.

putonyourdancingshoes Sun 05-Feb-17 15:48:55

Whenever I've brought attendance up to management I just get brushed off with "she has health issues". I just feel like whenever I pass on a concern it's disregarded. I will speak to HT again tomorrow. Thanks.

catslife Sun 05-Feb-17 16:11:17

OP. I am sending you a pm.

Meachy123 Thu 23-Feb-17 10:38:18

Hi All

New here and looking for some advice. My daughter started having seizures age 7. She is now 19 and has been on medication since age 7. She is taking driving lessons but we have recently discussed weaning off medication. I feel that my daughter hasnt had much of a life since starting medication. She is constantly tired and falling asleep, she cant seem to do the most simple tasks (very clumsy) and she seems to have a lower mental age. This is now causing problems with job hunting. She knows she would have to revoke her driving licence whilst coming off medication. I'm unsure if this is due to brain activity, medication or something else. Has anyone else had the same issues? Thanks x

Meachy123 Thu 23-Feb-17 10:40:23

Sorry me again. She also didnt do great in her exams at school, cant seem to concentrate and looks like shes dreaming most of the time. Thanks x

Beytwice Thu 02-Mar-17 13:38:41

Hiya meachy, maybe you can start a new thread in SN? You might get more help that way. Best of luck to your daughtersmile

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