* The purpose of this case study is to analyze and provide recommendations based on information presented in our Critical Incident scenario. In the scenario, Mr. Laird, a sixth-grade teacher, is to map a plan of action to accommodate for a new student in his class with epilepsy (Gollnick & Chin, 1988). To assist Mr. Laird in formulating a plan, I would remind him to consider addressing the following four key elements: 1. Creating a comfortable and engaging learning environment for Chris and those of her/his classmates. 2. Classroom awareness of Chris’ medical condition and that it is painless to Chris and that it is not contagious 3. What classmates could expect to see in the event Chris has a seizure per Ms. Chong’s description. 4. Informing and posting steps with actions students are to take to assist Chris in the event he has a seizure in class or while at school.
* Based on information provided in the Critical Incident report, I would first inform school administration of a plan to conduct epilepsy awareness education and training that afternoon. Upon completion of epilepsy awareness education and training, with Chris and his family’s consent via written correspondence, I would inform the class of Chris’ condition the following school day after recapping the lesson from the previous day. * Upon initially meeting with Chris, I would ask what medication, if any, Chris was currently taking, how often, and when was his/her last dose. Additionally, I would ask if s/he would be opposed to helping with conducting epilepsy education and whether, if the opportunity arises, s/he would be comfortable with discussing her/his condition with the class after completion of the lesson block.
Furthermore, so I can possibly alleviate a seizure or be able to identify onset of a seizure, I would ask him/her if any particular activity or sensory conditions tend to trigger seizures, as well as any behavioral signs or cues that may indicate s/he is experiencing initial stage of a seizure * With approval and consent mentioned above during initial introduction and integration into the class, to prevent possible stigma, or undue attention to Chris’ medical condition, I would introduce him/her to the class just like any other and then go on with planned lessons for the morning. Until completion of epilepsy awareness education and training that afternoon, I would ensure Chris is visually monitored throughout the day. * In the afternoon, after reminding Chris about my plan for epilepsy education and training, I would pose the class with a question whether anyone has a family, relative, or friend with a medical condition known as epilepsy.
Although students may not know medical terminology, I would guide the discussion and perhaps assign homework, if short on time, to research the unique conditions, description, characteristics, and steps to take in the event one was to encounter someone having a seizure. If discussion does not stay on a desired course, I would recommend describing to the class that it is a medical condition that sometimes causes people to faint and sometimes convulse (shake uncontrollably), and lose control of bodily functions. More than likely, a child in the class other than Chris, knows of someone who have “fainting spells” (seizures) due to a condition which can causes abnormal brain electrical activity – similar to a computer locking up when one forces it to perform too many program functions in a short period of time. Students should be reminded that experiencing someone having a seizure might be disturbing or frightened to one who has never observed an episode. * Discussion and homework should lead to students’ awareness of symptoms and characteristics as described by Ms. Chong and the following steps to take in the event of an episode: If you see encounter someone in class experiencing a seizure: 1. Remain Calm
2. Alert the teacher
3. Teacher instructs students closest to move desks/chairs to create enough space to safely lie down. 4. Teacher instructs students closest to the door to go next door to ask teacher to inform school medical personnel 5. Teacher instructs remaining students to remain calm and sitting at their desks 6. One student put something soft under the fainting subject’s head as teacher gently roll the person onto one side 7. Loosen tight clothing
8. Don’t put anything in the mouth – the tongue can’t be swallowed and objects placed in the mouth can be bitten or inhaled. 9. Don’t try to restrain the person.
10. Note any medical alert bracelet, which may indicate an emergency contact person and other information. 11. Note how long the seizure lasts.
* *The above is a modified version of steps provided by referenced Mayo Clinic website * In summary, I recommend Mr. Laird planning awareness education, training and rehearsing actions as stated above. Based on Mr. Laird’s knowledge of his students, I recommend he plan age-appropriate awareness education, post easy to understand steps, and perhaps periodic rehearsals (similar to fire drills).
Gollnick, D. and Chinn, P. (1998). Multicultural education in pluralistic society (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall
Mayo Clinic (2013). Grand mal seizure. Retrieved from: