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Seizure Disorders and Epilepsy

A seizure is a brief, excessive discharge of electrical activity in the brain.  Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes people to have recurrent seizures.

Types of Seizures

  • Generalized Tonic-Clonic (grand mal): Convulsions, muscle rigidity/stiffening, jerking movements.
  • Absence (petit mal): Blank stare lasting only a few seconds, sometimes accompanied by blinking or chewing motions.
  • Complex Partial: Random activity where the person is out of touch with their surroundings.
  • Simple Partial: Jerking in one or more parts of the body or sensory distortions that may or may not be obvious to onlookers.
  • Atonic (drop seizure): Sudden collapse with recovery within a minute.
  • Myoclonic: Sudden, brief, massive muscle jerks involving all or part of the body.

School Considerations for Students with Seizure Disorders / Epilepsy

If your student has been diagnosed with epilepsy or a seizure disorder, notify your school health office and the School Nurse. The School Nurse will provide training to school staff on how to respond to a student with seizures. Additionally, a Seizure Action Plan (Español) will be developed by your student’s health care provider and School Nurse to guide staff in seizure management and first aid. This plan needs to be completed annually and may include the administration of medications by trained and delegated school staff. All medications must have a pharmacy label with your student’s name and dosage.

Further Information