What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes neurological effects such as muscle spasms, loss of consciousness, strange sensations and/or behaviors. A seizure in an uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain. There are many different types of seizures.

Seizures can be caused by various triggers such as high fever, infection, high blood sugar, stroke or head injury. They can also be from an unknown cause. There are many different types of seizures and some can be controlled by medication. A focal seizure is when one area of the brain is experiencing abnormal electrical activity. A generalized seizure is when all areas of the brain are involved. The length and severity of a seizure can vary.


Absence: Common in children and often observed during school. They may appear to space out or stare. They are often not aware of what is going on around them and may have rapid eye blinking or lip smacking.

Drop: Loss of muscle control causing the person fall, or drop, to the ground.

Tonic: This type presents with a stiffening of muscles often causing the person fall.

Clonic: Usually seen as uncontrollable rhythmic, jerking muscle movements of the arms and legs.

Tonic-Clonic: Also known as grand mal seizures. Loss of consciousness, full muscle spasm and body stiffening occurs. Some people may lose bladder control during this type of seizure.

Focal: Presents with repetitive movement in only one area of the body. Some examples are: chewing, hand rubbing, or jerking motion of one arm or leg, Those with focal seizures may also experience altered senses or emotions.

Epilepsy and school:

If you have a child with a seizure disorder, notify the Credentialed School Nurse. A care plan will be created for your child and their specific needs. This plan will be shared with their teacher(s). It may be updated anytime your child's health needs change. If your child will need an emergency medication such as diastat (whether nasal or rectal) the school will need to have a medication order form signed by the physician. Staff will be trained by the school nurse on how to administer the emergency medication. If you are unable to accompany your child on a field trip, a trained staff member will be available during the field trip in case an emergency arises.

All forms mentioned above can be found in the Forms tab. You may also pick them up in your child's school office