Caring for the Whole Family
Children with Epilepsy have unique challenges. Parenting children with Epilepsy intensifies an already complex task and puts a strain on many family relationships. Services involving the family as a whole can promote awareness and support of the child’s and family’s needs and encourage social mainstreaming of the child in school and society.
Goals of the program are to aid, enable and orient the family towards the solving of problems, managing resources and addressing parenting difficulties. The attainment of these goals will help the child and family achieve a healthy transition to a more informed, accepting and supportive unit. The design of the program is to provide services on a short-term basis, with periodic checkups to provide support for the family’s unique way of working with the child.
This program consists of several distinct approaches:
Parent Training Services
Parent Training Services are designed to enable parents to achieve a better understanding of Epilepsy and how it affects their child’s developmental process. The service addresses what parents can do to promote the family’s adjustment to the disorder and what parenting tasks best enable the child to stabilize and adjust to the disorder. Parent support groups are part of this service; to provide and encourage a medium of dialog and a diversity of practical approaches to parenting from families who are experiencing similar adjustment and transition problems.
Family Member Counseling
Family Member Counseling provides services to the entire family unit to promote more positive adjustments to changes brought about by the diagnosis of Epilepsy in the school aged child. More effective communication among family members is encouraged; as are more functional relationships between parents, parents and children, and within sibling groups.
Child and Sibling Support
Child and Sibling Support is promotion of a child’s personal and social growth through a more positive adjustment to his or her seizure disorder. Possible problem reactions or problem areas include: isolation, school difficulties, poor peer relationships, behavioral problems and low self esteem. Siblings are also supported and encouraged to understand and deal with problems that may arise, due to shifts in parental attention and added responsibilities of siblings for the child with Epilepsy. Group therapy is part of this problem solving approach.
Counseling Services include services in advocacy, liaison, referral, and linkage services to school officials, medical community, legal and other social service providers. The counselor also describes and explains other programs available to parents and children with Epilepsy. Part of this service involves work with public and private schools to promote understanding of the types of Epilepsy and social problems encountered by school-aged children with Epilepsy.