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ERIC Number: EJ916399
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0046-9157
Diagnosing and Solving School Learning Disabilities in Epilepsy: Part 3--The Classroom
Mittan, Robert J.
Exceptional Parent, v40 n10 p43-44 Oct 2010
In many respects epilepsy is as much a social disorder as it is a physical one. With epilepsy's long human history, many misconceptions have grown around the disorder. Those misconceptions have taken on a life of their own. Mistaken ideas that epilepsy is some form of evil possession, that it is a form of mental illness, that people with epilepsy are intellectually impaired, and that seizures are to be feared still find their way into modern social life. When asked directly, most people would deny these ideas. Yet somehow remnants of these linger as a stigma in social interactions. This can be true in the classroom. It can start with the teacher. Unless educated about epilepsy, the teacher will fall back on the social "wisdom" about epilepsy. That "wisdom" is usually stigmatizing. The teacher is not trying to be unfair or discriminatory; he is just falling back on what "knowledge" is available to him. One of the common misconceptions about epilepsy is that affected children are not as bright as other children. Another problem teachers have is the universal social reaction to a seizure: fear. The sudden loss of control in another person is experienced as a threat by those around him. To make matters worse, onlookers have no way of stopping the episode, so they feel helpless as well. These things combined can make seizures a scary and unwelcome event. If the teacher is not fully trained in managing a child's seizures, that teacher is going to experience the expected reaction of fear. Students are liable to have the same fears and misconceptions that teachers have. Kids will also tease someone who is different. Peer's attitudes are not as easy to manage as the teacher's attitude. This article discusses the effect epilepsy has on the social functioning of the classroom and how this impact can affect learning difficulties in the student. [For Part 2, see EJ903146.]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A