• Epilepsy is a neurological disorder marked by
sudden recurrent episodes of sensory
disturbance, loss of consciousness, or
convulsions, associated with abnormal
electrical activity in the brain.
In Other Terms…
• Epilepsy is the tendency to have recurrent
seizures. It is the same thing as a seizure
disorder. A single seizure does not constitute
• It is not considered a disease but rather a
disorder of the central nervous system.
Types of Epilepsy
• There are different kinds of epilepsy syndromes
that have different types of seizures and different
kinds of treatments.
• For example, Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (TLE) is
where the seizures arise in the temporal lobe part
of the brain. TLE results in partial seizures which
can usually be completely treated with
medication. If medication doesn’t work for a
certain individual, brain surgery would be
Signs and Symptoms of Epilepsy
• Signs and symptoms depend on the area of
the brain in which seizure activity occurs and
on the type of seizure.
Signs and Symptoms Continued
– Alternating contraction and
relaxation of muscle groups
– Eye movements and turning of
the head to the same side
– Asymmetrical posturing of the
– Speech arrest, vocalization
– Seeing flashes of lights or
colors, illusions and
humming, buzzing, hissing noises
– Experiencing unpleasant odors
– Dizziness, lightheadedness
Signs and Symptoms Continued
– Borborygmi (rumbling noises
produced by gas in the
– Nausea, vomiting
– Piloerection (goose bumps)
– Pupillary dilation
– Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
– Detachment, depersonalization
– Dreamy state
– Memory distortion:
flashback, deja vu Time
– Unprovoked emotion:
fear, pleasure, displeasure, depre
ssion, anger, elation, eroticism
• Epilepsy primarily affects children and young
adults, although anyone can get epilepsy at
anytime. 20% of cases develop before the age
of five, and 50% develop before the age of 25.
• However, epilepsy is also increasingly
associated with the elderly.
Epilepsy and School
• Students that are diagnosed with epilepsy are at
increased risk for academic
underachievement, particularly in the basic skills
of reading, language, and arithmetic. Statistics
state that many of them are found to be
significantly behind their peers in academic
achievement levels, ranging from 16 percent
below grade in reading to 50 percent in general
• These students are also at risk of social rejection
by their peers.
Epilepsy in School Continued
• That being said, students diagnosed with
epilepsy still shouldn’t be restricted from any
activities in the classroom but modifications
should be made when necessary.
What Should Teachers Do?
• Promote understanding!
• Learn seizure management.
Do not try to restrain movements
Do not try to put anything between teeth
Loosen tight clothing
• Let a seizure run its course.
• Try to build predictability and routine into the
• Always inform parent if seizure happens.
Zachary’s life with Epilepsy