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Embracing the Challenge of Life with Epilepsy

Kids and Seizures

Children can have an even tougher time. Other children aren’t kind to a child who is different and whose seizures can be scary. Consider 8-year-old Suzie. She has been having seizures since she was 3. Although medicines are keeping the seizures under some control, she often does “blank out” during school and misses important pieces of information. Sometimes she doesn’t know quite what is going on.

Exceptionally bright and outgoing, Suzie is a resilient child. She asked her teacher this year to let her explain epilepsy to the other kids in her class and showed them what to do to help her. She has developed a loyal group of buddies who simply won’t let other children give her a hard time. Nonetheless, the seizures, and the intense concentration it takes to follow what is happening in class, frequently exhaust her.

A supportive family is providing Suzie with the nurturing and the encouragement she needs. Her mom says that Suzie often collapses in tears of frustration when she gets home from school. But after a nap and a snack, Suzie is “rarin’ to go” once more. She refuses to be left out of after-school activities and goes to dance classes, trumpet lessons, and a martial arts class every week. When asked how they can let Suzie be so active when the risks of injury or people’s unkindness can sometimes loom large, Suzie’s parents are clear. From their point of view, the risks are worth it. They won’t always be around to protect Suzie. But they can help her learn the skills she needs to take care of herself.

November Is Epilepsy Awareness Month

Between seizures, people with epilepsy are no different from anyone else. And just like any of us, they need the support and encouragement of others when their particular problem poses a challenge to carrying out everyday activities. Clearly, we would all benefit from learning more about epilepsy and, in particular, how to lend a hand when someone is having a seizure.

In marking Epilepsy Awareness Month, the Epilepsy Foundation of America continues to urge a national commitment to:

  • Making the cure of seizures a research priority;
  • Ensuring access to professional care for those who need it;
  • Educating the general public to eliminate seizure-related stigma and discrimination;
  • Fully integrating people with epilepsy into society through employment, education, and other targeted programs; and
  • Developing new approaches to prevent epilepsy.

For more information on epilepsy, go to the Epilepsy Foundation of America website.

Embracing the Challenge of Life with Epilepsy

Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.

Marie Hartwell-WalkerDr. Marie Hartwell-Walker is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. She writes regularly for Psych Central as well as Psych Central's Ask the Therapist feature. She is author of the insightful parenting e-book, Tending the Family Heart.

Check out her book, Unlocking the Secrets of Self-Esteem.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, M. (2018). Embracing the Challenge of Life with Epilepsy. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 23, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Oct 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Oct 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.