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Word of Mouth

We were so pleased to be able to support a mum whose child has epilepsy when she asked us to visit her son's primary school in Blackhall, Edinburgh to talk to the pupils about epilepsy. She heard about us from a friend whose child attends the Edinburgh Academy, a school I spoke to last year. There was apparently great follow on chat about all the people in history who had epilepsy and the Edinburgh Academy pupil was inspired. Word of mouth is a powerful thing and of course, our Mum On the Run (MORE) campaign runs everywhere and speaking to P4 to P7 pupils about epilepsy is what we do and have been doing for some months now with hugely positive feedback from pupils and staff alike.

We start with a spelling challenge, a bright spark is invited to front of house to spell the word 'epilepsy.' The hope is that it makes the subject memorable as well as the spelling clear. We then use the 8 children holding up each letter of the alphabet to demonstrate that 7/8 children, in the main, can live well with epilepsy whilst 1/8 is profoundly damaged like Muir.  Most children like Muir are not main stream school candidates and therefore they tend to be forgotten about. MMT aims to make young people aware of children like Muir, who attend special schools, as well as educating children about less severe forms of epilepsy and helping to dispel some of the myths that surround epilepsy.

As always the presentation was interactive, inviting pupils to tell us what they know of epilepsy, if they have ever seen a seizure - and in Blackhall Primary School many have. It includes a brief reference to some  famous people in history with epilepsy, as well as a discussion about different types of seizures and epilepsy and how it can affect us.  Additionally, I share my personal story about Muir and the reason for setting up the Muir Maxwell Trust.  If there is sufficient time at the end of the session questions are invited. In our experience questions always reveal a high level of interest as well as a healthy desire to understand more about children like Muir.

Our Blackhall Primary school mum was happy. She was especially pleased that we touched on the different types of epilepsy, including absences which is what her son experiences. A teacher herself, she now intends to introduce MMT to her own school.

And that's the power of word of mouth!

"We were delighted to welcome the Muir Maxwell Trust to Blackhall Primary School.  The children and staff learned a huge amount about Epilepsy in a sensitive and caring assembly.  The children were able to reflect upon how Epilepsy can change lives for a whole family.  Ann is enthusiastic and reassuring as she talks to the children about her family and how her son’s Epilepsy has affected them."
Ms Arran Finlay, Headteacher 

Blackhall Primary

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