Children/Adolescent Epilepsy Interventions Discussion Assignment

Discussion 2 – Week 6

Children/Adolescent Epilepsy Interventions: Children and adolescents are diagnosed with epilepsy after experiencing two or more seizures that are not attributed to high fever or low blood sugar. There are several types of seizures that children and adolescents may have, and some types are extremely difficult to recognize. During generalized seizures, children and adolescents may be convulsing, involving muscle spasms, and/or jerking movements. However, if children and adolescents experience non-convulsive or petit mal seizures, they may stare blankly with little awareness of surroundings. Non-epileptic seizures are different from epileptic seizures in that while they look like seizures, they do not have any abnormal brain activity (National Institutes of Health, 2004).

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It would be ideal if children and adolescents with epilepsy or non-epileptic seizures could take medications to control their seizures without experiencing side effects. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill that delivers perfect results. While dozens of medications may be effective in controlling seizures, most patients experience side effects, such as fatigue, dizziness, and impaired cognitive function (Schachter, 2006). For some children and adolescents, these side effects are minimal, but for others, they can have a more significant impact. The side effects from the medication and the symptoms of the seizures can interfere with children and adolescents’ social acceptance and self-esteem levels. It is imperative for parents and guardians, health care providers, and children and adolescents to find the right balance in medication dosage levels; however, it can be difficult (Epilepsy Foundation Western/Central Pennsylvania, 2003). Often, as part of their developing autonomy, adolescents want to participate in the decision-making process regarding their medications.

For this Discussion, students whose last names begin with A–M should review Scenario #1 (Bobby). Students whose last names begin with N–Z should review Scenario #2 (Jake). Consider strategies and interventions that might be most effective in your assigned scenario.

Children/Adolescent Epilepsy Interventions Scenario 1 – Bobby is an eighth grader in middle school. During lunch, he drops his tray, falls to the ground, and has a grand mal seizure. Many students in the cafeteria surround him. Some were afraid while others laughed. Bobby was taken to the hospital by ambulance. He did not return to school the next day because he was embarrassed by his seizure. When he returned two days later, some students were concerned about his health, but mostly he was greeted by jokes and teasing. Because of the seizure, Bobby was no longer allowed to play football for the rest of the season.

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Children/Adolescent Epilepsy Interventions Scenario 2 – Jake is a 16-year-old junior in high school and is experiencing side effects from his seizure medication, including poor attention, decreased motor skills, lack of motivation, low energy levels, and decreased mood. Because these impairments have affected his academic success and kept him from obtaining a driver’s license, he would like to stop taking his medications so that he can feel “normal.” As Jake is only 16, he needs parent or guardian approval to discontinue medication use.

With these thoughts in mind:

Scenario 1 – Post by Day 4 a description of an intervention you might suggest to the school and to the family to support Bobby with his epilepsy. Then, explain why the intervention you selected might be effective to support Bobby in dealing with embarrassment, bullying, and his removal from the football team. Justify your response with the Learning Resources and current literature.

Scenario 2 – Post by Day 4 whether you would advocate for Jake stopping his medication and explain why. Then explain strategies the family might employ to include Jake in the decision-making process. Support your response with the Learning Resources and current literature.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

Respond by Day 7 to at least one of your colleagues that was assigned the alternate scenario. Provide an alternative strategy for Scenario #1 or an alternative intervention for Scenario #2. Briefly describe why your recommendation might that be effective.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.

Click on the Reply button below to reveal the textbox for entering your message. Then click on the Submit button to post your message.

Children/Adolescent Epilepsy Interventions References

Epilepsy Foundation Western/Central Pennsylvania. (2003) Epilepsy and learning. Retrieved from http://www.efwp.org/programs/epilepsy_learning.shtml

National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Office of Communications and Public Liaison. (2004). Seizures and epilepsy: Hope through research (NIH 04-156). Retrieved from http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/epilepsy/detail_epilepsy.htm

Schachter, S. C. (2006, December 15). Side effects. Epilepsy Therapy Project. Retrieved from http://www.epilepsy.com/EPILEPSY/MEDICINE_SIDEEFFECTS