Effect of Epilepsy on Behaviour and Development of a child
Prevalence of epilepsy in children is around 0.5%.
Between 30 and 50 percent of children with epilepsy will develop a behavioral or mental health problem. These behavioural issues are also seen in General population but they occur more frequently in a child with epilepsy.
Several aspects can contribute to behavioural and emotional problems:
- underlying brain damage
- the seizures themselves
- small electrical discharges between the seizures
- the effects of seizure medicines
- Child environment like stigma, anxiety, people’s reaction to epilepsy, restriction of routine activities.
The types of behavioral problems associated with epilepsy include ADHD, anxiety, depression, aggression, and Autism.
As a result, many of these children are at increased risk for unsuccessful school experiences; difficulties in social interaction with peers, inadequate social-skills and poor self-esteem
The most effective treatments for epilepsy-related behavioral disorders often involve a combination of medication and behavioral interventions.
Even if seizures are cured, the problems with language, learning, and behavior may remain.
How to Help Children overcome Emotional Problems Associated with Epilepsy:
Early identification and treatment of behavioral problems provides the best possible outcome.
Learning difficulties often go unrecognised in children with epilepsy, so it’s important to talk to the school if you think your child is struggling with their learning.
It can be really difficult to come to terms with a diagnosis of epilepsy. This can affect members of the family in different ways. As a parent finding a way for you to come to terms with your child’s diagnosis and feel less anxious, may help your child do the same.
When your child is first diagnosed it may be a challenge to find a balance between keeping them safe and allowing them their independence. Many parents find that helping their child maintain as much independence as possible helps with their general wellbeing.
Parents need to talk about epilepsy, having information and knowledge of what happens in epilepsy will help children cope up with anxiety. This will also help with stigma associated with epilepsy.
Sometimes load of seizures can effect learning, try to give medicines regularly and follow up regularly with your Neurologist.
Parents fear that if they stress the child by scolding too much, the child will have a seizure. Don't let the seizures change things. Under-disciplining is one reason a lot of kids either end up eternally dependent or go the opposite way and become quite rebellious.