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Epilepsy and Getting Prepared for Going Back to School

Summer can be a time of rest and relaxation for many. We tend to stray from the normal school-year routine and by the time summer comes to an end, we might find ourselves scrambling to get into back-to-school mode! It arrives before we know it.

Keeping students with epilepsy safe

Next week our son goes back to school. He will be a junior in a special needs classroom in our local public school system. He is non-verbal and has developmental delays as well as epilepsy.

I find myself wanting summer to continue to avoid the seizures that tend to be caused by stress, from change in routine and anxiety that comes from going back to school. I have developed the following tips to help transition from our summer schedule to a back-to-school schedule with more ease.

My tips for going back to school with epilepsy

Medical forms

Make certain you have updated the medical forms required to have the school administer epilepsy medication. Our school district requires 2 different forms that need to be signed by a physician and this can often take 24-48 hours to receive back from the physician office.

Medication review

Make sure the medication you are sending to school is not expired and you have the correct dose on hand. Our school also requires all medication to be in labeled containers by the pharmacy. You may need to ask for multiple prescriptions for home and school.

Transportation

Call the transportation department in advance of the school year to verify any special requirements necessary are made in advance. Does your child need to ride a bus with air conditioning to avoid seizures that may be triggered by heat? Calling in advance to discuss these issues and make sure they are aware is important to avoid any disruption in transportation.

Teacher communication

Make certain the teacher is aware and reminded of the triggers for your child's seizure activity. What do their seizures look like and what is your seizure action plan? Have they been trained in seizure protocol and what was the last time they had a seizure educational seminar?

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Sleep schedules

In the summer, we sleep in later. So I am starting to make sure we are waking up earlier, which will mirror our school schedule. This will avoid being overly tired and feeling stress from not getting enough sleep.

Special dietary needs

Our son is on a ketogenic diet for his seizures. Make sure that the school is reminded of any dietary requirements they should follow before the new school year begins.

Wishing you a seizure-free start to school!

Other than that, eat breakfast and get plenty of sleep the night before their big first day! I hope that your school year starts with low stress for you and your back-to-schooler.

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