I am the mother of a 15-year-old girl who is funny, caring, helpful, witty, charming and … happens to have been diagnosed with epilepsy at age three. By the time Gracie started school, I had noticed the cognitive and fine motor changes that had occurred with increased seizures. To avoid possible stigma, Gracie, the school nurse and I read a seizure book to her classmates every year through fifth grade.
The students asked Gracie questions, which she answered. Then we explained to her classmates what they might see such as difficulty with writing, slower at reading and maybe a little more “wobbly” on the playground. We also explained that she still wanted to do all the same activities that they were doing such as music, reading and playing outside.
Throughout her school career Gracie continues to learn new information, is becoming more independent and is finding new passions. She started high school last year and was introduced to painting in her art class. Two of her paintings were submitted into contests and one of them won an honorable mention recognition.
Gracie continues to grow, at her own pace, on her own time and with her goals and wishes in mind.