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The Epilepsy Program at MassGeneral Hospital for Children serves patients with seizures and related disorders. The service sees patients in all phases of their illness, from assessment after an initial event in our First Seizure Unit through evaluation of refractory seizure disorders in patients who have not been easily controlled.
A comprehensive epilepsy surgery program complements the latest medical therapy, including investigational new drugs, as required. Additional services include second opinions, review of neuropathological and radiographic materials, neurogenetic assessment, ketogenic diet program and psychiatric evaluation.
State-of-the-art neurophysiology and neuroradiological diagnostic facilities supplement expert consultation. To assist in accurate diagnosis and treatment, inpatient and ambulatory long-term video-EEG monitoring using digital technology with computer assisted event detection, sophisticated MRI imaging and spectroscopy, functional imaging using MRI and PET scanning, and detailed neuropsychological testing are available.
At MassGeneral Hospital for Children, we know that the time of your child’s diagnosis and treatment is a very stressful one and we strive to provide an open, welcoming environment. We believe that no one knows a child as well as the parent does: parents, along with primary care providers, become our partners in a child's care and have an active voice in all treatment plans.
Meet the Team
The Thrive component of the MGH Pediatric Epilepsy Program has been developed to provide opportunities for children with epilepsy to have programs designed to:
Patient and Sibling Groups
Thrive has after school groups for our patients with epilepsy and for the siblings of our patients children. Leigh Horne Mebel, MSW, LICSW is in charge of running the groups. Ms. Mebel is one of the Thrive program founders and has extensive experience with pediatric epilepsy and with individual and group therapies. When children participate in structured group programs they have opportunities to increase their coping skills, learn new ways to help them navigate our complex social world, and develop their ability to self-regulate. Connecting with other children experiencing similar emotions and sharing similar challenges can be an opportunity to normalize experiences and also learn new skills.
As part of the adolescent patient and sibling groups, the Thrive Program provides mentorship training for interested participants. Children who are mentored benefit from being provided with role models, encouragement from older children with similar backgrounds, and help building social skills and a greater connectedness to others. Training of peer mentors is designed to help children build their communication, planning and reasoning skills and strengthen their ability to take others' perspectives.
The following weekly groups for our patients with epilepsy will begin:
Adolescent Epilepsy Group
Rock Climbing Group
Rock Climbing can be a fun group activity that helps children increase muscle control, coordination and balance. Rock climbing can also increase self-confidence and enhance goal-setting as children can set goals for their climb each time they reach a new height. The next Rocking Group held, at a local gym by , will be for all children including patients, their siblings and their friends.
Parent groups offer parents the opportunity to share their experiences as well as to develop strategies to help their child manage difficulties with attention and emotional behavioral dysregulation. Monthly, beginning Thursday 12/1/16 – This group, led by the Pediatric Epilepsy Social Worker, will be held the first Thursday of every month.
February’s parent group will take place on February 9th (not on February 2nd).
Transition to Adulthood Group
The transition to adulthood is difficult for all children, and particularly so for young adults with medical issues. Our group focuses on the important aspects of planning for the transition into adulthood. This includes the legal, educational, and psychosocial aspects of this significant period of development.
To enroll and for more information on all these opportunities please contact the THRIVE program at 617-726-6540.
Save the Date
Teachers, Parents, Therapists, Nurses, Social Workers, and Psychologists: save the date on Saturday November 4, 2017 for a day long educational conference featuring expert MGH and Guest speakers on the topics below. More information will be posted shortly. Please share this event with anyone you believe may be interested.
Download Event Flyer
Our THRIVE in College event, geared towards patients, and families, who will be heading to college next year will be held in May 2017. The exact date and time will be announced shortly.
Thrive is continually creating webinars to provide information about epilepsy, the cognitive, learning and psychosocial issues often associated with the disorder, educational challenges and solutions. All webinars are available for viewing on our Thrive website. Current and planned webinars include the following:
August 2016 Webinar: Understanding epilepsy and associated cognitive and psychosocial challenges
To ensure your donation supports Pediatric Epilepsy, select donor designation and type in “Thrive”.
Epilepsy is a neurological condition involving the brain that makes people more susceptible to having seizures.
Dietary therapy is prescribed most often for patients with refractory epilepsy, whose seizures have not been controlled despite trying multiple antiepileptic drugs.
MGHfC Pediatric Epilepsy Program
Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care
To schedule an appointment with a MassGeneral for Children pediatric specialist, please call 888-644-3248 or complete our online appointment form to request an appointment.
Physicians may call 888-644-3211 or use the online referral form and the Access & New Appointment Center will call your patient within 1 business day.
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