Transitioning from high school to college is difficult for any family, and for those impacted by epilepsy, college can be filled with extra challenges. Before even applying to college, students with epilepsy and their parents may be faced with considerations of educational accommodations and distance from doctors and family. Once on campus, these students may face a host of new decisions and responsibilities revolving around diet, medications, sleep, stress, and the constant worry of experiencing a seizure while balancing the demands of classes and managing their health. For parents, the concern over their child’s well-being must be tempered by the understanding that learning how to be independent is part of this process, and managing epilepsy is part of that transformation.
With students preparing to head back to college campuses, we revisit several previous episodes in which students with epilepsy and their parents discuss their experiences choosing and attending college. Eva Wadzinski and her mother Michelle discuss what people with epilepsy may need to consider when choosing a college and how they have approached professors and administrators with Eva’s accommodations for managing epilepsy. Caroline Pratt and her mother Ashleigh Henrichs discuss balancing the concerns of a parent with the need for the child to assert independence and responsibility for her own health, and the necessity of respect and communication on both sides. And, finally, Ph.D. candidate and aspiring epilepsy researcher Christin Godale shares what spurred her to become public about her epilepsy diagnosis and how that decision positively impacted her college experience. If you are a young person with epilepsy or the parent of one, listen to the experiences and insights provided by college students who are attending college while living with epilepsy.
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