Epilepsy: Activities for Children with Epilepsy

If your child has epilepsy, you may feel overwhelmed at what sort of treatment options exist for your special needs child. While epilepsy can be controlled through a variety of epilepsy treatments such as drugs, surgery and diet, there are also many activities and supplemental treatments that can help you manage your child’s epilepsy and provide rehabilitation for that most common of epilepsy symptoms: seizures. Read on for ideas on what types of activities and treatment options are best suited for kids with epilepsy, as well as how schooling can affect your child’s epilepsy.

Special Needs Activities for Children with Epilepsy

The type of activity best suited for epileptic children depends on the type and frequency of the seizures they experience.

If your infant has epilepsy, take advantage of seizure-free moments in order to cuddle, sing to your baby, read him stories or play. Activities can be as simple as tossing your baby gently up in the air or playing merry-go-round (in which you gently turn while holding your child face-to-face, her legs straddling your waist).

You can also make bath time fun too. Sing songs or fill the tub with some rubber duckies; but remember to never allow your child to take a bath alone. Children with epilepsy should only ever be given tub baths and should never be allowed to bathe unsupervised.

For toddlers and older children, swimming is an excellent activity. That is because swimming can be an interactive special needs activity, as it can be conducted in pairs; this also makes the activity safer.

Group sports are also encouraged for kids with epilepsy. Soccer, baseball and hockey are good choices, as is cycling. Horseback riding can be a very therapeutic activity; just ensure that your child always wears a helmet while riding.

Remember that while it is important to protect your child during activities, encouraging her to participate in as wide a variety of physical activities as she is physically possible to is an important part of your role as a mom, and will help your child’s mental and physical development.

Establishing a regular routine for activities such as story time and bath time will also provide a sense of comfort and confidence for your special needs child.

Epilepsy Treatment

Observe your child early on for any language, behavior or learning problems.

Such problems can include difficulty talking and muscle spasms, which often accompany seizures.

If you notice a difference in the frequency or severity of such problems, be sure to talk with your child’s doctor right away.

Possible epilepsy treatment options include:

  • speech therapy: focuses on language and communication development
  • recreational therapy: focuses on physical activity such as dance, swimming and therapeutic horseback riding
  • occupational therapy: centered on the development of the child’s use of her arms, hands and upper body
  • psychological therapy: aimed towards coping with the possible psychological effects of epilepsy on your child

Schooling for Your Special Needs Child

Eighty percent of American children with epilepsy attend mainstream schools and colleges.

However, home schooling may be a more appropriate option if your child has frequent or severe seizures. This will allow you to ensure that your child’s unique needs are met and can reduce the stress of attending a normal school.

If your child’s epilepsy is milder, public school is generally a good option. Be sure to confide in one of your child’s teachers about your child’s epilepsy and inform him about what he needs to be aware of when your child has a seizure (i.e. what happens during a typical seizure and what symptoms your child experiences after a seizure, including confusion and fatigue).

Also, always inform someone you trust at your child’s school about what medication (if any) your child takes for her epilepsy. You might also inquire as to whether there is a medical room in which your child can rest after having a seizure.

In addition to helping your child cope with her epilepsy, this will also provide you as a mom of a child with epilepsy with an additional support system in caring for your special needs child.

Click here to talk with other moms of special needs children.