New Onset Pediatric Epilepsy
What is the NOPE Clinic?
The Minnesota Epilepsy Group’s New Onset Pediatric Epilepsy (NOPE) clinic provides screening and education for children who have recently been diagnosed with epilepsy. In this clinic, children and their parents meet with three epilepsy care providers on the same day. Children will be screened for behavior and learning problems that commonly occur with epilepsy. Children and their parents will also be provided with information about epilepsy.
Why the NOPE Clinic?
Children with epilepsy often experience difficulties with learning, attention, mood, and behavior. Recent research has shown that these difficulties may be present before initial diagnosis of epilepsy is made. The goal of the NOPE Clinic is to provide early assessment and interventions for these issues.
When a child receives a diagnosis of epilepsy parents are often overwhelmed, making it difficult to retain information that was presented to them. Studies have shown that even one year after diagnosis many families still have questions about epilepsy. The NOPE Clinic provides an opportunity for families to receive individualized epilepsy education in a timely manner.
NOPE Clinic Components
The NOPE clinic visit includes neuro-psychological screening, psychology screening, and an updated medical assessment combined with epilepsy education provided by a nurse practitioner.
Example Clinic Visit
10:00-11:00 Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
9:00-11:30 Neuropsych Testing
11:30-12:00 Psychology Assessment
What to bring
- Completed behavioral questionnaires from parents and/or teacher
- Copy of most recent individualized education plan (IEP)
- Records from any previous testing completed by school or clinical psychologists
- Specific names and doses of any prescribed daily medications
- Names and phone numbers of clinical providers such as physicians or therapists
The pediatric psychologist assesses mood, anxiety, and behavior. The psychologist will make recommendations related to coping with epilepsy at home and at school, managing mood or anxiety
difficulties or interventions for behaviors that interfere with functioning. Consultations with the school may be offered as well as referrals for outpatient therapy if needed.
The pediatric neuropsychologist assesses learning, attention, and behavior. A psychometrist will work with the child for two to three hours to complete a set of tests. The neuropsychologist then meets with parents to explain test results and discuss recommendations. The neuropsychologist may recommend behavioral strategies, academic accommodations, or other interventions for any areas of concern found on testing. He or she will help parents work with the school to discuss academic accommodations if necessary.
Nurse Practitioner Assessment & Epilepsy Education
The nurse practitioner assesses the child’s progress soon after starting antiepileptic medication, and meets with parents to go over any additional questions they may have. It is very common and natural for parents to feel overwhelmed during the very first meeting with the doctor who diagnoses epilepsy. Most parents have difficulty concentrating on details, and have a hard time coming up with specific questions during that first meeting. At the NOPE clinic, parents have ample time to raise questions with the nurse practitioner.
NOPE Clinic Providers
- Elizabeth Adams, PhD, ABPP-CN
- Julia Doss, PsyD, LP
- Janelle Pasch-Berglund, CPNP
- Katie Reger, PhD, LP
- Maureen O’Connor, PhD, LP