It is of great debate as to the effects of seizures and medication on a students learning. Anecdotal reports form parents and students indicate that there are impacts on education and learning. This is not to say that all children will or do have difficulties, it acknowledges that they can. With that aside it is important to realize you do have access to support within the education system. We have attempted to identify all of the various categories classified by The Ministry for Education that a student can have additional support.
Prior to entering the educational system and you have concerns about your child in any of the areas outlined below please contact your family physician or in the Fraser Valley, The Fraser Valley Child Development Center.
The Educational Assessment:
You can ask for an educational assessment if you believe your child is experiencing educational difficulties. Your Classroom Teacher, Learning Assistance Teacher, or school Principal can all make a referral to the school based team. The team will review the prioritize the need for your child to have an assessment done. There are often schools that are overloaded with referrals and you may have a lengthy wait that could take two years. If the wait period is too long or you have difficulty acquiring this assessment through the educational system, it is possible to request a neuropsychological assessment from your Neurologist, Pediatrician, or Family Physician. This is a viable option due to the fact that there is an underlying ,pre existing medical condition (epilepsy) that could be impacting learning. Once you have obtained a report that identifies learning disabilities or a significant impact on your child's education from seizures and or drug effects, you have undisputable support to access additional services in one of the following categories outlined below.
The information adapted or quoted below is from The Special Education Services Manual of Policies and Procedures. This manual profiles the following purpose and criteria for supportive educational services. Duties, purpose and criteria are not limited to, but do include the following:
The Individual Education Plan
"All Students with special need must have an IEP". Section C
Prior to accessing additional services it is requested that your child must have some level of service in place, eg. Learning Assistance or an Individual Education Plan. An IEP outlines modifications or adaptations for the student and services that are to be provided. This is a tailor made education plan that will follow your child through Elementary school to Secondary School. The Information below provides a number of categories for special funding. The special funding is then used to gain the maximum benefit for the student. Teaching Assistants are often accessed as additional education support for students with epilepsy if learning has been adversely affected or if seizures are frequent and uncontrolled.
As a parent it is important your are involved and included in any IEP meetings that take place usually at the beginning of the school year. Having input and being aware of the recommendations, adaptations, or modifications planned for your child is crucial to understanding your child's education plan.
Special Considerations, Services: (Section D)
Learning Assistance is designed for children with " mild to moderate difficulties in learning and adjustment".
School Psychologist plays a number of roles in the School District. Their purpose is " non-categorical educational and mental health services designed to support students"and provide collaborative consultation, assist with pre-referral interventions, provide psycho educational assessments for students referred by the school based team, may contribute to the design of on
Speech and Language Pathology: These services are designed to assist students "whose educational and /or social progress is adversely affected by communication difficulties. 'Any student with delayed, disordered or atypical speech and /or language skills should be brought to the attention of the speech and language pathologist.
Physiotherapy/Occupational Therapy: "Is primarily directed toward the prevention and alleviation of movement dysfunction to promote maximum independence for the student.."
Hospital/Homebound Education Services are available to those students with medical conditions including injury, disease, surgery, pregnancy, or psychological disability. Verification from your physician is required in writing or the completion of a Ministry form by your doctor, before services are provided. The purpose is "to enable students to continue their education program while absent from school for periods during the school year because of illness or related medical/psychiatric, reasons. These services can be accessed by your classroom teacher or administrator.
Special Considerations for Individual Planning: Section E pg.41
(Children that are facing impacts on their education due to seizures or medication are most compatible with this category for supplemental funding.)
Teaching Assistants often work in classrooms with students when disabilities are identified and or seizures are frequent or uncontrolled.
Students with Physical Disabilities or Chronic Health Impairments.
Students in this category are considered to have a chronic health impairment or" physical disability based on the need for special educational services due to one or more of the following: