On October 6th, 2021, EpLink held an online webinar titled “Managing Behaviour Issues in Pediatric Epilepsy”. Many children and youth living with epilepsy experience behaviour issues, including aggression, acting out, and attention deficit disorders. Moderated by Dr. Mac Burnham, EpLink Co-director and researcher, this event aimed to raise awareness about behaviour issues in children living with epilepsy and provide management strategies for parents and caregivers.

The webinar featured talks by:

  • Dr. Mary Lou Smith, PhD, CPsych, EpLink researcher and Neuropsychologist at SickKids Hospital
  • Heather Olivieri, MSW, RSW, Social Worker at SickKids Hospital
  • Kristi Nylen-Burns, parent, and caregiver of a son with epilepsy

Attendees learned more about the neurobiological aspects of behaviour and emotion regulation, as well as factors that may influence behaviour disorders (e.g., age of seizure onset, genetics, family issues). The talk also discussed strategies to help promote self-regulation (i.e., the ability to monitor thoughts and behaviours) and offered suggestions for where to find more help, including consulting a psychiatrist, behaviour therapy, or using parent support groups. In addition, Kristi shared her experience as a parent of a child living with myoclonic seizure disorder, what some of her son’s behaviour issues looked like, and offered some helpful practices for parents/caregivers of a child with a seizure disorder. After all the speakers’ presentations, there was a Q&A session and opportunity for attendees to ask the speakers questions. A recording of the webinar can be found on EpLink’s YouTube page here.

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