Seizure Disorders

Tools for the Speech Language Pathologist


Children with seizure disorders often have problems understanding and producing both written and verbal narratives. This is a complex skill with various behaviors associated with it. Narrative abilities develop over time, with different skills expected to be present at different ages. Therefore, various techniques can be used with children depending on their age and current level of narrative ability.

Shared Storybook Reading

Shared Storybook reading activities are a great way to introduce students to narratives and help them to begin using comprehension strategies. The child and clinician will read a book together while the clinician asks various questions: both literal and inferential-type questions.

  • A helpful tip is to introduce story part cards while reading the story. Cards can include: character, setting, problem, outcome, etc.)

Other Tools to Develop Narrative Skills

  • Story Maps - This is a great visual aid to help children understand the components of each story they read. Story maps can be adapted for different stories and different age or skill levels.

  • Story Starter Boxes - A fun way to get children writing (or telling) original stories. Place a collection of random items in a box to be pulled out for fun and creative story ideas.

  • Story Starter Blocks - This is another fun way to encourage students to write (or tell) independent stories. Have the child assist you in designing the blocks. Then manipulate them in various ways to create a different and exciting story every time.

Procedural Discourse

Children with Seizure Disorders also have trouble telling procedural stories, or step-by-step occurrences. Build their sequencing abilities by having them explain simple tasks or retell events. Use the following ideas to get started:

  • how to make a sandwich
  • routine from getting out of bed in the morning to leaving for school
  • retell the events from a favorite story, like "The Three Little Pigs"
  • use photos of a routine, like brushing teeth, to help the child sequence the steps
  • explain a favorite vacation or day over the weekend

Lexical Skills


Children with Seizure Disorders often have word-finding difficulties. Therapy can address word-finding skills that the children can apply throughout the day. Here is a list of a few common strategies that can be used:

  • describe - use descriptive words to tell about the missing word
  • substitute - use a synonym in place of the word
  • rest - take a break, think about it, and wait for the word to come to you
  • write it - write out any part of the word that you can remember
  • phonemic cues - if you know the first sound of the word, say it out loud
  • gestures - act the word out
  • associate - tell some other words or ideas that the word is connected to
  • draw - draw the word

Other Word-Finding Activities

Try these other fun activities to increase word-finding abilities:

  • play the game "Blurt"
  • play cloze games (fill in the blank) while reading familiar stories or nursery rhymes - ask the child to fill in the blank spaces
  • rapid naming activities - ask the child to list as many items from a given category