Explaining epilepsy to your child


Our Youth Development Worker, Kirstyn Cameron provides information on how to explain that your child has epilepsy.

Explaining that your child has epilepsy can be a difficult and daunting experience. However, it is important that your child understands the condition.

How you tackle this depends very much on the age of your child.

An older child may initially refuse to talk about epilepsy, however, most children will cope better once they understand what is going on.

Be as open and upfront as you can but do not overwhelm your child with too many facts.

If you have other children, they too will need to be told.

A child will very easily pick up on their parent’s stress and anxieties. Staying positive around your child will help them to adjust much more quickly.

Your child’s epilepsy specialist nurse will also be able to help them understand epilepsy. In fact, an older child may prefer to speak to a nurse rather than a parent.



Using storybooks to explain epilepsy

Storybooks can be an effective way of starting a conversation about epilepsy, especially with a younger child.

Epilepsy Scotland provides a range of storybooks which can help make explaining epilepsy easier to your child.

Farah and Ted visit the hospital is a story about a young girl going through the process of diagnosis at hospital. This is one of our storybooks aimed at children of pre-school/ early primary school age.

Brian learns about epilepsy is a story about a small boy who finds out his mum has epilepsy. Our storybook can help explain epilepsy to a child of pre-school/ early primary school age, where a parent, sibling or friend has epilepsy.

Happiness Heroes is one of our storybooks, dealing with the difficult subject of bullying using epilepsy as an example. It is aimed at children at primary 5/ 6.

All of these storybooks are available to download on our website by clicking here. For hard copies, please send us your address by emailing contact@epilepsyscotland.org.uk and we will post them out to you.


Explaining epilepsy to older children

Our guide for teenagers, aged 13-19, who have epilepsy addresses issues such as seizure triggers and how to address them, what to do if they are being bullied and provides information on the help and support that is available to them.

Connecting with others who also have epilepsy can make a young person feel less alone and may help overcome isolation, low confidence and low self-esteem.

We currently run two youth groups, one in Glasgow and one in Edinburgh for children and young people aged 11 to 19. These groups provide an opportunity to share their experiences, ask questions and have fun.

We can help and support a young person come to terms with their epilepsy diagnosis by providing one to one support.

For more information on activities and how to join our Edinburgh Youth Group, please contact Kirstyn at kcameron@epilepsyscotland.org.uk.

To find out more and to join our Glasgow Youth Group, please contact Shelby at sjohnston@epilepsyscotland.org.uk.