Dravet syndrome is a severe type of epilepsy in which patients may experience a range of cognitive, behavioral, and physical difficulties. Nevertheless, with certain adaptations, children with Dravet are still able to access an education and enjoy a safe and nurturing school environment.

Learning difficulties

Children with Dravet syndrome may find it challenging to keep up with classes due to their condition. While developmental delays can begin at about age 2, not all children are equal in their abilities to perform in school. Teachers who are patient, flexible, and trained in working with children with special needs are best able to cater to the different learning requirements of a child with Dravet syndrome.

Additionally, having Dravet syndrome may cause a child to miss a number of school days. Extra tutoring support can be helpful to make up for the missed classes.

Behavioral issues

Children with Dravet syndrome may also develop other conditions such as autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which can affect their behavior in social environments such as school.

More than half of children with Dravet syndrome have features of autism, which can make it difficult to socialize with others. Autism also may be accompanied by hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity to certain smells, light, colors, sounds, touch, and taste. Children who are on the autism spectrum may also need a little longer to process information.

Children with ADHD are unusually hyperactive and impulsive, making it difficult for them to sit still and pay attention in class This may affect their ability to learn in a classroom environment.

By anticipating and recognizing these potential problems, teachers can better plan how to effectively work with children with Dravet syndrome.

Seizures and school

Prolonged and frequent seizures are the main symptoms affecting children with Dravet syndrome. Teachers and school staff should be taught to recognize a seizure and to have an emergency protocol of what to do when seizures occur in school.

Clearly labeled medications can help teachers ensure that a child with Dravet syndrome does not miss a dose.

Safety measures

Because seizures can happen anytime, extra safety precautions are required for a child with Dravet syndrome who is attending school. For example, classroom modifications such as dimmer lights may be necessary to avoid causing a seizure.

Having a child wear a medical ID tag with their name, emergency contact information, and condition at all times is important, as children with this condition may be prone to wandering. A GPS-enabled tracking device can also be helpful.

Often, a one-on-one guardian may be needed to ensure the safety of a child with Dravet syndrome in school and to avoid accidents.

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Dravet Syndrome News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.