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  #21  
Old 08-10-2013, 09:35 AM
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My EEG and MRI were normal, so now it's just wait-and-see if I ever have another one. I don't know how y'all are in the UK, Nick, but here in the States we have the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that protects people from unfair employment practices on the basis of disability. If I'm correct about the law, if a person can prove they are receiving therapy (such as meds) for a condition, that person can't be discriminated against regarding employment and the employer has to make reasonable accomodations for that person. I did let my Pre-K director, who is under the principal, know about the seizure because right now I am riding with a fellow Pre-K teacher who lives in a neighboring county.

Nick, you might consult with an employment lawyer where you are to see if there is any law you can use in your favor.
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  #22  
Old 08-10-2013, 09:44 AM
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In UK you have to be 'fit' to teach and pass a medical to get on to a teacher training course.

But if your seizures began are you working you would need to go through occupational health to see if your work place was safe and if reasonable adjustments could be made.

To be refused a job just on the grounds of having epilepsy is discrimination. A person with epilepsy could have complete seizure control, or just night-time seizures. In this day an Age it is disgusting that people can see the word epilepsy and think they can just run the hills.
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  #23  
Old 08-10-2013, 05:17 PM
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Thanks guys for that. I'll look into it sometime.
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  #24  
Old 08-10-2013, 09:48 PM
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With regard to the OP, I'd say whoever said the calm honest lighthearted approach would be the best way to discuss with the kids.

On another note, this is an interesting topic, but does have me a bit concerned. I'm in a mid career change and have considered getting my certification and becoming a teacher.

I wonder if you guys think I should? I have temporal lobe epilepsy, but am pretty well controlled with meds. (Have a full, generalized seizure every 2 to 5 years or so) Although I will have partial "aura" only from time to time.

At my old office job, the people there knew that if I felt an aura coming on, that I just needed to go home and take a sick day. I wonder what would happen if I was teaching a class full of kids? Can you just go home if you need to do so?

I honestly never considered that the epilepsy might disqualify me from teaching. I hate the idea of being disqualified from anything because of epilepsy. I mean we all want to have interesting lives and do what we want in life like everyone else!

What are your thoughts generally? Go for teaching or not? If so or If not, why?
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  #25  
Old 08-11-2013, 02:30 AM
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Firstly find out about teaching entry routes and if any conditions would disbar you from training in your country. Look at UNI admissions.

When I couldn't train it was before the Disability discrimination act, and it's more about your GP saying that you are fit the rigours of teaching.

Taking time if your ill would be the same for any other illness. You may find some prejudice at interviews, but do you guys have the equivalent of the two ticks, where if you tick your disabled on an interview form you are guaranteed an interview. I used to find when I got to interview and could talk about my epilepsy it 'reasured' people.

Also I think it would be easier to teach teenagers and adults rather then littlies.

When I was teaching I was working in an alternative curriculum project which was an education facility where the young people had been permanently excluded from
full time education, they were quite rascally and nobody really cared if I had epilepsy. There was only one qualified teacher the rest of the teaching staff there were workers because we used youth workermethodology. But during my time there I gained a teaching qualification.

But finally could I be as bold as to suggest you come over to the dark side of Youth Work we have candy and Jaffa cakes.

Q
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  #26  
Old 08-11-2013, 02:40 AM
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I didn't know two ticks actually guarantees you an interview. That good to know. Although I'm sure I've applied for jobs with two ticks before and not got an interview.
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  #27  
Old 08-11-2013, 03:02 AM
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You have to meet the minimum job spec, so of you were applying for rocket scientist and don't have a degree in astro physics I think they can discard. Google the website and check.

It's happened to me and I had embarrassed PR people ring back saying they just hadn't noticed the box had been ticked and oddly enough it was for the ACP / teaching job that I got the interview.
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  #28  
Old 08-11-2013, 03:11 AM
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Off the direct gov website ...


1. Looking for a job
When you’re looking for work, look for the ‘positive about disabled people’ symbol (with 2 ticks) on adverts and application forms.

The symbol means the employer is committed to employing disabled people.

If a job advert displays the symbol, you’ll be guaranteed an interview if you meet the basic conditions for the job.

Find out about jobs in your area at your local Jobcentre.
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  #29  
Old 08-11-2013, 03:17 AM
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Well thanks I'll definitely keep that in mind next time I'm looking for work.
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  #30  
Old 08-11-2013, 07:08 AM
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Dignan, the only thing about teaching is that if you have to leave during the day or take a day off, you have to secure a sub. Sometimes the office staff will help you in finding a sub if you have to leave during the day, it just seems to depend on the particular school you're at and what their policies are. I would think, though, in an emergency like a seizure or potential seizure, other staff members would pitch in and step up to the plate to help a fellow staff member.

If you are considering getting your teaching certificate, you might talk with someone in administration (say, a principal or superintendent or someone in charge of a college's education program) to get their thoughts on whether it would be worth your time and money to pursue a certificate, given your epilepsy. They could probably tell you if having epilepsy (controlled as yours is) might be an impediment to your becoming a teacher or not.
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  #31  
Old 08-11-2013, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by rogden View Post:
This is something that I am terrified will happen. I am a riding instructor and horse trainer and with my most recent episode happening with no rhyme or reason that I know of I am being told I cannot ride until I get cleared and I am worried about having a seizure while standing in the middle of the ring with a group of kids on 1,000lbs animals scared to death that I am dying. I can only imagine I am not sure how to handle this or if I need to leave my dream and do something safer for everyone.
Do you typically get auras with your seizures or any kind of warning? Or, do yours just come out of the blue? The reason I ask, is if you understand what your danger signs are, you should be able to know when you need to take some time off and when you can work as you would like to do.

Last edited by Dignan; 08-11-2013 at 01:13 PM.
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  #32  
Old 08-11-2013, 01:14 PM
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Just in general after reading through this thread I wanted to say something..


This whole question of what jobs can I do or should I do is really frustrating me to the point of being pissed off.

We want and deserve to do what makes us happy. We know our bodies better than others, and we know what kind of warnings we have, what our dangers are, and what we are truly capable of doing. I don't like being told you can or can't do this or that.

What are we supposed to do?? Just sit around being bookkeepers inside a padded room?
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  #33  
Old 08-11-2013, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Dignan View Post:
Just in general after reading through this thread I wanted to say something..


This whole question of what jobs can I do or should I do is really frustrating me to the point of being pissed off.

We want and deserve to do what makes us happy. We know our bodies better than others, and we know what kind of warnings we have, what our dangers are, and what we are truly capable of doing. I don't like being told you can or can't do this or that.

What are we supposed to do?? Just sit around being bookkeepers inside a padded room?
I totally agree with you and this whole thing totally pisses me of as well. I do actually do what you 'suggested', I work part time for a small online company and spend most of the time cataloging books and boring stuff like that. I almost didn't even get that job because my boss was scared of epilepsy (he knows better now). The only reason I got the job in the end was because he is an old family friend.
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  #34  
Old 08-11-2013, 03:03 PM
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I get the frustration, but I guess all any of us can do is adapt.

All I ever wanted to be was a teacher, my epilepsy meant my education got side tracked for a few years so I was doing an access course at the time called a gateway to teaching (an adult entry pre UNI qualification).

I found out I wouldn't be accepted on a BA in primary education at a university open day. Hadn't been prepared at all before this no mention when accepted on the gateway to teach. I was devastated. I cried non stop for 2 days. I knew i couldn't drive a train or a plane but didnt think teaching was hugely dangerous when i was going years between t/c's.
This was in the late 90's and things have progressed on a little bit, you have to have a medical and for ANY chronic condition a gp and possibly your specialist have to say you are fit to teach as its a rigorous career, it's the same for nursing and possibly other demanding degrees for demanding professions.

When formal education didn't want me informal education took me with open arms and I ended up with degrees English lit and then a second degree in youth and community studies (1st was for keeping mentally active 2nd a 'career degree'.

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  #35  
Old 08-11-2013, 07:20 PM
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Here in the U.S. there is the growing frequency of online public schools, which can allow a teacher to work from home (if I'm not mistaken) on the computer, in a "virtual classroom." I'm not sure exactly how this works, but it seems to be a growing industry here in the States. Do a search of "online public schools" to see what-all is out there. It could be that such an opportunity might be ideal for someone with epilepsy or some other disability. I don't know if this is available in the U.K., or if this is something one of you might be able to start or anything, but it is a possibility, maybe?
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  #36  
Old 08-11-2013, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by QueenieKP View Post:
I get the frustration, but I guess all any of us can do is adapt.

All I ever wanted to be was a teacher, my epilepsy meant my education got side tracked for a few years so I was doing an access course at the time called a gateway to teaching (an adult entry pre UNI qualification).

I found out I wouldn't be accepted on a BA in primary education at a university open day. Hadn't been prepared at all before this no mention when accepted on the gateway to teach. I was devastated. I cried non stop for 2 days. I knew i couldn't drive a train or a plane but didnt think teaching was hugely dangerous when i was going years between t/c's.
This was in the late 90's and things have progressed on a little bit, you have to have a medical and for ANY chronic condition a gp and possibly your specialist have to say you are fit to teach as its a rigorous career, it's the same for nursing and possibly other demanding degrees for demanding professions.

When formal education didn't want me informal education took me with open arms and I ended up with degrees English lit and then a second degree in youth and community studies (1st was for keeping mentally active 2nd a 'career degree'.

Q
Wow.. they are tough on folks over there in the UK.. My understanding in the US is that they can't prevent you from getting a job as long as you demonstrate you can perform the job (which in your case you've clearly demonstrated, along with the time between your tonic clonic seizures). Even in nursing, I've been told that people with E are accepted as long as they can perform their duties.
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  #37  
Old 08-12-2013, 12:25 AM
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I think it's more a case of being a accepted onto the degrees than the jobs themselves?

I don't know if that is for kindly reasons 'these are very stressful degrees we don't want to endanger a student' or for less kindly 'we're worried about a student not being able to hack the course'.

My particular circumstances were late 90's before DDA and in fairness there is a lot of practical and financial support available for disabled students in the UK. But generally I think it is about keeping everyone safe. UNI is stressfully especially when their is a placemenr element and for young 'uns it maybe the first time away from home.

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  #38  
Old 08-14-2013, 12:16 AM
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Hi I teach too! The only thing I do is to tell them about my condition during the first day of class along with my classroom rules because I would be needing to leave the room. I have a few seconds of aura so I am usually able to step out of the class or stay at the back, I really try not to have an episode in front of my students because although they understand, by the time they tell their parents about what happened to teacher in the classroom, the parents will be filling letters about scaring the kids. I do inform my level teachers about the condition and I always prepare an substitution folder for whoever is going to help me take care of my class.
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  #39  
Old 08-15-2013, 07:55 PM
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I'm a high school Spanish teacher. This is my 8th year teaching and I was diagnosed with epilepsy in November. I had my first grand mal (I don't know the other names yet.) in October in one of my classes. My students are usually very helpful when I have seizures in class. They just go get help. When I return they try not to make a big deal out of it. This year I am going to let them know what to do since I know what I have, unlike before. (I went to three neurologist before the grand mal and they said I had insomnia, amnesia, and I made it up because my eegs came back normal. I was having short episodes sort of like absence seizures.) I'm still struggling with this because it is so new. I am glad to have this site. My school has been helpful so far, but as someone stated before here in the States we have disabilities act, so if they know any better they would accommodate you.
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:27 AM
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Hi - this is my first post but was searching for info about teaching with epilepsy and it brought me here. I teach Drama in Australia - mainly to Seniors [ age 15 - 17] and about 18 months ago started freezing when talking and having uncontrollable sounds coming out when talking to my students - I went to my GP who sent me off for some tests that were unconclusive and after being overseas for a while I eventually got to see a neurologist who ordered some more tests that I haven't got results yet and put me on Keppra. The Keppra has stoped all embarrasing class situations but has totally ruined my family life and is having a serious negative impact on my work and life - depressed and full of HATE - can't think/yell at kids / get aggressive/constantly drowsy - so while waiting for the test results I feel like I either leave my family and stay on Keppra and keep my job or leave my job and get off Keppra... I know there are lots of people in way more difficulty than me but not sure if the Keppra is worth the hassle...
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