March 26th marked a point on the calendar which is internationally recognised as epilepsy awareness day. For the 600,000 people currently living with the condition, it is a day designed to educate people as to how epilepsy impacts on lives and allay the negative stigmas attached. At New Directions however, we believe that one day in 12 months is not enough – especially when you consider that in the UK, around one in every 240 children under the age of 16 have epilepsy. With those odds, the chances are, there is a child in your school with the condition and if there isn’t now – there probably will be in the future.
Currently, there is little known about the different forms that epilepsy can take and an utterance of the word “epilepsy” can strike fear into the heart of anyone working with a sufferer. With a few sensible precautions however, most of those children affected can lead a ‘normal’ life.
Children with epilepsy are at risk of seizure-related injuries and those who developed epilepsy through another condition or those who are newly diagnosed, are at highest risk. Whilst around 40 to 80 British children a year die because of their epilepsy, knowing the risks means that you can do things to keep risk to a minimum in the classroom.
Epilepsy is not an outwardly physical condition that segregates its sufferers. Children with epilepsy are rightly placed among children without the condition and so training for epilepsy is a necessity – not a luxury. At New Directions we offer an Epilepsy Awareness with Buccal Midazolam and Rectal Diazepam course which is specifically tailored to those teachers who work with or are responsible for the welfare and well being of individuals with epilepsy.
Because it could strike at any time, those people in a position of power ought to understand the classifications and management of seizures and the triggers that are attributed to epilepsy. Whilst a general awareness may seem enough, specific and individual training on the condition is vital for the safety of those who suffer. Many children and young people with epilepsy go to mainstream schools and while the condition may not directly affect their behaviour, in some cases it can knock their confidence and result in under performance. Adequate training will not only help the teacher to understand and facilitate the condition, but will also give them the assurance to approach a sufferer and offer the support and provision that an epilepsy sufferer needs.
For more information visit www.ndtraining.co.uk