A parent’s epilepsy influences the whole family. Tell your children honestly about epilepsy, where the information is based on their age and developmental level. This way it is easier for them to ask about epilepsy later on.
How can you support a child?
When a child has been told about epilepsy, it is easier for them to ask about it in the future. Most parents will know themselves what they can tell their children. It is good to lessen children’s worries by telling them that their parent receives help for the illness, like medication. Children need reassurance that they will be taken care of during the illness.
Epilepsy can be scary to a child. They can be told that “I see you are thinking about it. Shall we talk about it?”. Above all, a child needs security and attention – there does not need to be thorough conversations every time. The illness can be brought up during a nice activity when you can ask about the child’s thoughts more casually. Answer their questions and seek information together. You can always ask more from your doctor.
How to cope with situations regarding epilepsy?
It would be important that the parent has an adult whom they can share the responsibility of the child with during an epileptic seizure. If a child is the one who is present during an epileptic seizure, they should know what to do. A child’s task is to call out an adult to the situation.
Make a safety plan together!
If an ambulance picks up a parent, children are naturally distressed. It is important to give security to the child and hold on to routines. A child needs to be told what has happened and that mum or dad is in hospital being taken care of. You could think about sending a message or calling them, and taking a drawing to the hospital when they are allowed to visit.
Seek for help
If your resources and information are not enough, you are not alone. For example, you can always contact maternity clinic if a parent has a worry about the child. These services are meant for the whole family. Also, the school’s nurse and psychologist can help and guide the child and the family.
Toimin Yhtä perhettä -hankkeessa asiantuntijana. Olen apunanne lapsia ja perheitä koskevissa asioissa. Hanke on osa Epilepsialiiton kehittämistoimintaa.