April 3, 2014
Crowdfunding and the Epilepsy Association of Calgary
Epilepsy is a condition of the central nervous system, characterized by recurrent seizures. The term epilepsy covers a wide variety of disturbances in consciousness, ranging from mild sensations or interruptions in normal thought, feeling or behavior, to convulsive seizures. It is estimated that 1 to 2% of the population has epilepsy. In Calgary, this is as many as 24,000 people – enough to fill the Saddledome and then some!
What Causes Epilepsy?
In many cases, a specific cause for epilepsy cannot be found, but known causes include: head injuries, pre-birth trauma, chemical imbalances, certain infections of the brain, such as encephalitis and meningitis, strokes, and brain tumors. Epilepsy is not generally inherited, although if both parents have a strong family history of epilepsy, the chances that their children will inherit a tendency to have seizures is increased.
How can the Epilepsy Association of Calgary offer support to persons with Epilepsy? They are able to in many ways, however, let’s talk specifically talk about the schools:
When a child has epilepsy, informed teachers and school personnel are essential to the physical and emotional well-being of that child. The teacher is in a position to positively impact a student with epilepsy and can help ensure that the student is able to maximize his or her potential during the school years.
In addition, explaining epilepsy to other students promotes acceptance and understanding of others and prepares them to assist with a seizure if needed.
Understanding the condition of epilepsy benefits everyone:
– School personnel will be alerted to the signs of seizure activity that may have gone unnoticed by others
– Seizure activity will not be mislabelled as a behavioral issue
– The teacher will be able to respond calmly and effectively to a seizure
– The occurrence of a seizure will not be disruptive and frightening to the class
– By nurturing a calm and accepting atmosphere, the teacher will be able to create a favorable social climate for the child at school that fosters positive self esteem and prevents isolation of the child with epilepsy
– Awareness of possible educational problems will encourage early intervention strategies to help the child with epilepsy reach his or her academic potential
– The child who has epilepsy will be encouraged to participate in all school activities, avoiding social exclusion
– The teacher’s observations and reporting of any changes in the child will help parents work more effectively with the child’s physician to control seizures
– Children who have epilepsy will not be underestimated
– Recognizing seizure activity in children is very important. Many children have been diagnosed and successfully treated because of an alert teacher!
Education sessions are available to staff and student groups at no cost.
For students, sessions consist of age appropriate information and activities, and can be custom designed to meet the needs of the group.
For teachers and support staff, sessions cover the basics about epilepsy, seizure recognition and first aid, as well as issues related to learning and academic achievement, school participation and communicating with parents/caregivers.
The Epilepsy Association of Calgary will come out to do education for any interested group, class, workplace etc. Please call 1-866-EPILEPSY or (403) 230-2764 for more information.
To learn more about the Epilepsy Association of Calgary and to consider donating (via the “DONATE” button) to this important need in our community, please visit http://www.epilepsycalgary.com .