Letters extra: Don't trivialise epilepsy

23rd May 2003 at 01:00

What a shame the recent furore over trainee teachers being advised to avoid using the term "brainstorming" for fear of offending people with epilepsy received so much attention when the condition itself remains lost in the shadows.

Next week is National Epilepsy Week and the anniversary of the publication of the National Sentinel Audit into epilepsy-related deaths. Twelve months on, 1,000 people a year are still dying of this misunderstood condition.

Epilepsy affects one innbsp;133 people. Every day, 81 people are diagnosed. Epilepsy Action has 22,000 members. Many of them suffer prejudice and misunderstanding,nbsp;not just from the general public but within the education and health system.

There are far more offensive terms that people with epilepsy face on a regular basis. Surely educating trainee teachers about epilepsy and providing them with first-aid advice in the event of a student having a seizure would be far more useful.

Helen Aitken
British Epilepsy Assocation

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