EPILEPSY AS A PSYCHO-SOCIAL DISEASE: “HOW DO YOU HELP TEENAGERS COPE?” “HOW DO YOU RESPOND THEN?”

“I just say, ‘Hey, you’ve got to pay the piper. You know the rules and what you can do. It’s your choice.’ Teenagers want to be in control. Like all other children and adolescents, there is a need to test limits, to explore. That is a time-tested way of growing. It’s no different for kids with epilepsy; but they have additional boundaries to test. They don’t like parents or anyone else telling them what to do. They don’t like having to take medication, because it doesn’t seem to be under their control. As Karen has become more mature, she really understands. She knows it is her choice whether she takes medicine and how she treats her body. That gives her control.
“Another thing which has been a big help for Karen’s self-image is that she has become a counselor to other teenagers. We have asked her to participate in conferences for parents and others. On occasion, we have asked her to talk with younger teens, either individually or in groups. She is a role model, and that works out well for everyone.”
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EPILEPSY AS A PSYCHO-SOCIAL DISEASE: “HOW DO YOU HELP TEENAGERS COPE?”"HOW DO YOU RESPOND THEN?”"I just say, ‘Hey, you’ve got to pay the piper. You know the rules and what you can do. It’s your choice.’ Teenagers want to be in control. Like all other children and adolescents, there is a need to test limits, to explore. That is a time-tested way of growing. It’s no different for kids with epilepsy; but they have additional boundaries to test. They don’t like parents or anyone else telling them what to do. They don’t like having to take medication, because it doesn’t seem to be under their control. As Karen has become more mature, she really understands. She knows it is her choice whether she takes medicine and how she treats her body. That gives her control.”Another thing which has been a big help for Karen’s self-image is that she has become a counselor to other teenagers. We have asked her to participate in conferences for parents and others. On occasion, we have asked her to talk with younger teens, either individually or in groups. She is a role model, and that works out well for everyone.”*224\208\8*

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