What does the average 10-year old think about a classmate who has epilepsy? You may think that kids at that age would be very sympathetic, with supportive and helpful intentions. A study was conducted asking over 800 students if they would be willing to play with or sit beside another student who has epilepsy. The response was eye-opening, as 40 percent of the students surveyed said they would not want to play with or sit beside such a classmate.
It is not surprising that there is a residual stigma associated with epilepsy; only decades ago, individuals with seizure disorders were often confined to mental institutions, left in the shadows of ignorance. And when 40 percent of students today indicate a prejudice or misunderstanding about epilepsy, there is clearly a significant need for increased awareness and education.
We at Epilepsy South Central Ontario believe that teaching the leaders of tomorrow, our youth, about seizure first aid training, dispelling the myths and stigmas associated with epilepsy and doing this in tandem with the Grade 5 science curriculum is a perfect fit.
For more information about the grade 5 “Thinking About Epilepsy” program and to access all of our services and support, please contact us.