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Epilepsy awareness: Homeschooling a children with epilepsy

 You may want to desensitize the child and train him or her to be able to cope better (Photo: Shutterstock)

It’s one of your worst nightmares, as a parent who wants their child to be successful, when your child with Epilepsy can no longer go to school because they have too many seizures while at school.

You are left with no alternative but to consider homeschooling them.

This situation may seem all too convenient. It may seem like another way to get out of doing homework or get out of having to be up at 6:00am each morning.

But in reality, one must think of the many legitimate reasons and ways in which a child with epilepsy should be homeschooled.

Environment and teaching styles

The environment can be very important. Most kids with complex partial seizures in the left side (the dominant side, where language is handled) have problems in a noisy environment. So if you move them into a quieter place, they can calm down and be more attentive. 

Kids with seizures from the right hemisphere tend to be distracted by an environment with a lot of things to look at. They often do better in a setting like a study booth or a desk facing a wall. Yet these suggestions are just temporary life is full of noise and distraction.

So you want to desensitize the child and train him or her to be able to cope better. In general, kids with seizures typically don't do well in timed tests. They do best if they can take their time.

Parents may have to figure out how much homework will help the child learn. Monitoring the homework helps in developing a home based teaching experience. If kids learn to break it up into smaller segments, to take breaks, they learn to attack homework in a better style.

With kids who have learning problems and seizures, it's nice if the parents can use a common approach. This doesn't mean that the child should have more spelling tests or practices at home just like the ones at school. But if the child has poor auditory memory, for example, the parents can play games with the child at home that develop auditory memory skills without competing with what the teacher is doing.

Many parents learn using the same style their children use Children tend to imitate their families. Parents' learning styles also affect what they do with the child.

If a mother is ashamed of her own learning style, she will not be very tolerant of the same style in the child. She wants the child to learn from her experience. Sometimes, though, the kid knows how to use that style successfully.

Homeschooling requires one to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and watch out for the area in between.

One should always emphasize what a child can do. Even if the seizures are not well controlled, the child still has plenty of learning time between seizures.

The writer is an epilepsy awareness activist.

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