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K-12 CAMS for Students with Epilepsy

Individuals with epilepsy may experience any of the limitations discussed below.  The degree of limitation will vary among individuals. Not all students with epilepsy will need CAMS (compensations accommodations, modifications, strategies) to perform in school and many others may only need a few CAMS. Regardless, each student’s case should be evaluated on an individual basis with an Independent Needs Assessment Protocol done by an Educational Strategist & Consultant or a Special Educational Needs Consultant (SEN).  The following is a sample of possible CAMS for students with epilepsy.  Other CAMS solutions may exist so check with an Educational Strategist & Consultant or Special Educational Needs Consultant (SEN) for more information.          



1. What limitations the student with epilepsy is experiencing?

2. How these limitations affect the student and the student's school performance?

3. What specific activities or tasks are problematic as a result of these limitations?

4. What CAMS are available to reduce or eliminate these problems?

5. Are all possible resources being used to determine possible CAMS?

6. Has the student with epilepsy been consulted regarding possible CAMS?  Does the student know how s/he learns best?

7. Once CAMS are in place, would it be useful to talk with the student and/or team to evaluate the effectiveness of the CAMS and to determine whether additional or different CAMS are needed?

8. Do parents and school staff need training regarding epilepsy?

9.  Schedule time to meet with the Educational Strategist & Consultant or Special Educational Needs Consultant (SEN) to determine how to communicate needed CAMS with the school team and how to document.






 Cognitive/Neurological Limitations:



        Provide written information to student

        Post written information in a central location

        Use a wall calendar

        Use a daily or weekly task and activity list

        Provide verbal prompts or reminders

        Use electronic organizer on a computer or hand-held device

        Tell student what activities s/he was engaged in or were taking place at time of seizure



        Put student's name plate on desk teacher’s name on door

        Provide a school building directory or map

        Label items at desk and around classroom

        Use walkie talkie that connects to a staff person, coach, or mentor


Time Management/Performing or Completing Tasks:

        Provide verbal prompts or reminders

        Provide written or symbolic reminders

        Use alarm watch or beeper

        Avoid isolated work space or desk

        Work in teams of two or more

        Use clear timeframes or deadlines

        Make daily or weekly task and activity list


Office Equipment Use:


        Use large-buttons with universal symbols and clear labels

        Post directions

        Identify a contact person to answer questions

        Provide re-teaching and re-learning

        Change schedule so student is never first person in or last person out



Gross and Fine Motor Limitations:



        Pair student with coach or mentor who can travel with student

        Adjust schedule so student can access public or school transportation

        Form a carpool with other students to and from school



        Use rubber matting on floor area to cushion a fall

        Use stepping stands with handrails and rolling safety ladders

        Modify how tasks and activities are done

        Provide head, eye, and harness protection

        Have arm rests on chairs to prevent falling out of chair


Managing Fatigue

        Use anti-fatigue matting on the floor

        Provide flexible start or ending times

        Adjust assignments, tasks, activities

        Provide area to take nap during breaks or lunch


Ensuring Safety

        Train peers and staff to respond to emergencies and know when to call 9-1-1

        Keep aisles clear of clutter

        Provide a quick, unobstructed exit and post clearly marked directions for exits, fire doors, etc.

        Provide sensitivity training to staff and peers




        Allow student time to recuperate from seizure

        Identify hand signals or other universal signals that student might use to communicate with another person

        Assist student in discontinuing activity such as carrying, walking, running, etc

        Educate peers and staff on how to respond/react when student has a seizure

        Consult parents on plan of action to determine how to respond/react when student has a seizure




        Use flicker-free monitor (LCD display, flat screen), monitor glare guard, "computer glasses," and take frequent breaks from tasks involving computer

        Replace fluorescent lights with full spectrum lighting, use desk or floor lamps, and use natural lighting source (window) instead of electric light




        Allow student to remain at school after a seizure, if possible

        Provide flexible daily or weekly school schedule

        Count all absences due to seizure activity as one occurrence



Appropriate Behavior:


        Understand student’s limitations, and be prepared for behaviors such as: drooling or spitting, urination on self or on furniture, and inappropriate behavior such as trying to push or kiss someone

        Allow student to keep change of clothes at school

        Provide private space for student to go when exhibiting such behavior

        Have student alert teacher and peers when seizure is about to occur

        Provide sensitivity training/disability awareness to peers and staff


Seizures at School:


        Try to reduce or eliminate these situations so seizure activity does not occur. Some triggers include: hormonal changes, sensitivity to fragrances or other chemicals, stress during the school day; and disruption in daily activities due to varied shifts (such as sleeping, taking medications, or eating)

Male grade school student at blackboard

2006 Claudia Lowe, SENC  ......  adapted from www.jan.wvu.edu