An E-bulletin brought to you by The Child Welfare League of America
Youth with Epilepsy Seek Respect, But Often Face Isolation and Bullying
A survey in 2001, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of 19,441 teens found that the less teenagers are aware of epilepsy, the more likely they are to engage in behaviors that result in stigma and discrimination. Because they want so much to “fit in” with their peers, teens are particularly affected by such attitudes and behavior. The survey found that, of the chronic health conditions relatively common among youth, such as asthma and diabetes, epilepsy is the least understood and thus likely to be the most stigmatizing.
According to the survey:
In response, an epilepsy awareness campaign “Entitled to Respect” is now underway to correct misinformation and to reduce fears about seizures. Through peer-to-peer communication and celebrity spokespersons, including public service announcements by the *NSYNC musical group, the campaign:
Go to www.entitledtorespect.org for more details as well as posters and brochures that can be downloaded. These items are also distributed through clothing stores, doctor’s offices, health classes, guidance offices, libraries, coffee shops, in-school and community outreach presentations, and afterschool programs.
The campaign is sponsored by the Epilepsy Foundation, a nonprofit volunteer organization devoted to research for the cure of epilepsy and to education, advocacy, and the provision of services for people with seizure disorders and their families. The website, www.epilepsyfoundation.org, includes a BLURT Message Board, featuring a Teen Chat Group, Spellbound (a game to discover what you do and don’t know about epilepsy), Fast Facts, How to Help, and information for parents, professionals, and persons with epilepsy. How well are you informed?
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