Seizure Disorders

Strategies for the Classroom and Home

In the Classroom

Children with seizure disorders can experience wide-ranging learning problems. All students' unique areas of need should be addressed, but general practices can be implemented by any educator.

Curriculum Adaptation

  • Focus on recognition tasks, rather than retrieval of information tasks
  • Use strategies to write down information AS it is presented, not AFTER it is presented - graphic organizers, note-taking sheets, index cards, etc.
  • Associate new ideas/words/concepts with pictures, symbols, colors, sounds, etc.
  • Provide plenty of visuals - charts, graphs, graphic organizers, posters, lists, timelines, number lines
  • Use tape-recorded textbooks
(Mass General, 2006)

Behavioral Modifications

  • Provide preferential seating, depending on where the child learns best
  • Post a daily schedule on the board so the child can follow along
  • If the child has visual memory or visual-spatial problems, provide plenty of visual supports such as charts and illustrations
  • Provide and require less written work
  • Allow the child to use extra time on tests and assignments
  • Provide extra wait-time when the child is answering questions
(AboutKidsHealth, 2015)

Introducing Tips and Strategies

  • Use physical prompts - point to the correct place on the page, cover up parts of textbooks that don't need to be read
  • Use "stop and think" techniques - encourage the child to monitor his own behavior; remind him to think before speaking and/or acting
  • Ask child to repeat back instructions
  • Use key words or phrases to trigger memories, definitions, etc.

Creating a Supportive Environment

  • Set clear rules and expectations for classroom behavior
  • Check in with the child each day to see how he's doing
  • Develop a system in which other students can act as a peer helper or tutor
  • Deliver instruction in a consistent and familiar format
(AboutKidsHealth, 2015)

At Home

Children with seizure disorders have similar problems at home as they do at school. They often have problems following directions, and engaging in language-related activities. Parents can follow the same procedures and strategies that have been highlighted for teachers, including:

  • setting clear rules and expectations
  • breaking directions into small steps
  • providing visuals when your child is completing a task
  • ask your child to repeat directions back to you