Epilepsy and school
We know that sending your child to school can be a scary thing, especially when your child has Epilepsy. Children’s Health℠ has many resources to help you through this process. And if you have additional questions, we are here to help.
How will my child their get prescribed medications at school?
Prescribed medication may be administered by school nurse or by a non-health professional designate of the school. The below form is needed to allow these medications to be administered.
Form to provide to the school:
- Physician Request for Administration of Medication by School Personnel
- Physician Parent Authorization for Administration of Diastat
- Physician Parent Authorization for Vagal Nerve Stimulation
To request forms from Children's Health:
The form will show up online. After logging in, from the "Messaging" tab, look under "Letters". If this form is not there, you can request that your care team release one by sending them a secure message, located under the "Messaging" tab, then select "Get Medical Advice".
What do I need to know about my child attending school?
Federal laws exist that protect the rights of students to receive a public education, attending schools in their community. The federal law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004, states that all eligible children are entitled to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) regardless of their disability and should be placed in the least restrictive environment (LRE) with proper supports. The legal document that defines the supports a child requires in order to benefit from his/her education is called the Individual Education Plan or IEP. Some students who need special accommodations as a result of their medical condition may not require an IEP but instead may benefit from having a Federal 504 Plan. This plan defines those special accommodations that are needed in school, for example, a daily check-in with the nurse for medications or additional time to walk from class to class.
Requests for student evaluations should be put in writing and submitted to the school district director of special education. A parent can request an evaluation by the school to determine their child’s eligibility for special education. The school has 15 school calendar days to contact the parent and to get their consent for testing. Once the consent is signed the school has 45 school calendar days in NH and 60 in ME to conduct testing, evaluate results, send the results to the parents, and hold the IEP to determine eligibility. If eligible, this meeting would include development of the child’s IEP.
The IEP or 504 Plan is developed by parents and school personnel working together with the student. The services and supports your child receives are based on his/her individual needs. Schools are required by Federal Law to provide the services in the IEP or 504 Plan. Be sure to ask for a “Parent Rights” Booklet from your school district. If you feel your child is providing all the services outlined in the plan, this booklet will outline how to file a complaint. Each year, Epilepsy Foundation Texas conducts online and in-person training courses for school nurses and school personnel.
Are there scholarships for students with epilepsy?
Disability scholarships are funded by many different scholarship providers who each have different requirements. These scholarships can be meant to help students with a specific disability pay for school, or they can be aimed at a wider range of students who have physical or mental issues. To find scholarships for which your child may be eligible, go to www.scholarships.com
The UCB Family Epilepsy Scholarship Program offers educational scholarships to people living with epilepsy, family members and caregivers to help them fulfill their dreams. For more information or to apply, go to www.ucbepilepsyscholarship.com
The Ryan Siddique Scholarship Fund provides financial scholarships and support services to students diagnosed with epilepsy. This scholarship is given in memory of a courageous, compassionate young man who suffered from epilepsy since he was four years old until he passed away in April of 2014 at 28 years old. For more information or to apply, go to www.ryansiddiquefund.org
The AAHD Frederick J. Krause Scholarship on Health and Disability is awarded annually to a deserving student with a disability who is pursuing undergraduate/graduate studies (must be at least enrolled as a sophomore in college) in an accredited university who is pursuing studies related to the health and disability, to include, but not limited to public health, health promotion, disability studies, disability research, rehabilitation engineering, audiology, disability policy, special education and majors that will impact quality of life of persons with disabilities. For more information or to apply, go to https://www.aahd.us/initiatives/scholarship-program/
For other Epilepsy scholarship opportunities, speak to your medical provider or clinic social worker.
Where can I find my child's seizure action plan?
If you have developed a Seizure Action Plan with your provider, then your completed Seizure Action Plan (PDF) is located, after logging in, under "My Healthcare World" in the "Documents/Letters" section.
The information in your Seizure Action Plan should assist you if a seizure occurs during school hours.
Video: Epilepsy at school
Find out what students with Epilepsy need to know including the laws that have been enacted to help students with disabilities at school.