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Patient and family resources
Patient and family resources

Who can join the classroom?

Requirements

  • Children must have intractable epilepsy, that is, they have ongoing seizure activity despite maximal medical treatment, or have significant interictal discharge despite being on medication or have recently undergone surgery for intractable epilepsy.
  • Children must be followed by a neurologist either in their community or at a hospital.
  • Children must be underachieving in at least one academic area on standardized testing (i.e. more than one standard deviation below age expectations), show persistent underachievement on a daily basis in their home school classroom, or display social-emotional issues that are interfering with their academic success.
  • The classroom is an Elementary School; as such, children must be in grade two through grade eight.
  • Children typically reside within the  Greater Toronto Area.  For children who live outside of this area, parents must arrange accommodation and transportation in a way that will not tire the child.

Exceptions

  • The Epilepsy Classroom is not able to accept children who require one-on-one assistance for behavioural issues or those who pose a safety threat to others. Due to the physical limitations of our space and lack of on-site administrative support, we do not have a safe place to spend time with children who are experiencing significant behavioral issues.
  • Students with school designations of DD or with a diagnosis of severe ASD are better suited to other programs within their local school board.

Program Partnership

  • The classroom is a section 23 program with the Ontario Ministry of Education.
  •  The classroom resides with the Centre for Brain and Mental Health at The Hospital for Sick Children.
  • Students become students of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).
  • The special education teacher with the classroom comes from the local school board, namely, the Toronto District Elementary School Board (TDSB).
  • Thus, the classroom is a partnership between the Hospital for Sick Children and the Toronto District School Board.

Application/Referral Form

A referral to the Epilepsy Classroom can be made by a parent, teacher/school, neurologist, paediatrician, family physician or other professional. Download the referral form.

Intake Interview

Once a referral is received for consideration of a child in the Epilepsy Classroom, an intake interview is arranged with Dr. Elizabeth Kerr, the head of the program and a Clinical Neuropsychologist and Heather O'Driscoll, the Social Worker with the classroom.

The purpose of the screening interview is to gather information about the child's seizure history, developmental history, social - emotional functioning, academic needs and concerns, as well as community/family supports.

While the parents are being interviewed, the child completes a brief assessment of learning abilities and needs.

The information gathered during the intake assessment is used to determine eligibility for placement. When a child is eligible, the information is used to begin program planning.

Parents are encouraged to bring their child's report card and any previous assessment reports with them to the intake interview.