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You Are Not Alone: Facilitator's Guide

We recommend that you review all of the materials in the kit to become familiar with the issues that are presented. This can help plan for discussions using the questions provided in this guide, your own questions, or a combination of the two. Viewing the materials before the session may also help you to anticipate parents' reactions to the materials and tailor the discussion to specific issues they may want to explore. In addition, it may help you to decide whether to view and discuss the video in one session or view and discuss it in sections.

  • Introducing the Video

    Introduce the video to your viewers by explaining that the documentary-style video features the story of two families as well as parents who "survived" the teen years. Share that the video does not cover all experiences or viewpoints, but merely the experiences of several families. Encourage your viewers to join in the discussion after watching all or part of the video. The video is meant to be a catalyst for discussion about what they are experiencing. Because of the realism of the video, a wide range of issues, emotions, and thoughts about parenting a teen with epilepsy may arise. You may let parents know this ahead of time and tell them that after the video, they will have the opportunity to discuss their reactions.


    Please note: Roxanne's aunt mentions that Roxanne was diagnosed at an Epilepsy Foundation (EF) affiliate. Not all EF affiliates have clinics associated with them. A diagnosis of epilepsy should only be made by a medical professional.

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  • After Viewing the Video


    After showing the video, consider using the questions below to stimulate and direct the discussion. To get parents involved, have them share one or two points that "spoke to them" in the video. If the group is large, you may opt to divide it into smaller discussion groups. You can invite each small group to summarize its discussion and share key points at the end of the session.
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  • Introducing the Audio


    Let parents know that they are about to listen to an audio that is a series of three "overheard conversations" between parents and their teens living with epilepsy. Each conversation is then "rewound" and followed by a second conversation that demonstrates one way teens think the conversation should have gone.

    As with the video, the audio addresses a wide range of issues and emotions that stem from parenting a teen with epilepsy. Those listening may disagree with some of the alternatives presented in the "rewound" conversations. Remind them that the "rewound" conversations are meant to stimulate discussion rather than provide final solutions to the situations discussed. Tell them that they will have the opportunity to discuss their reactions after all or part of the audio is heard.

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  • How To Listen to the Audio


    You may choose to play the audio in its entirety; however, as each scenario raises very different issues, we recommend pausing after each one to initiate a discussion with the group. After playing each scenario, use the suggested questions below to stimulate and direct the discussion. To get parents involved, ask them if any of the dialogues sounded familiar. If the group is large, you may opt to divide the large group into smaller discussion groups. You can invite each small group to summarize its discussion and share key points at the end of the session. After playing the entire audio, you may also want to conduct an improvised role-play exercise, where one parent plays the teen and the other plays the parent.

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  • Reach Out Brochure and Resource Guide


    In preparation for the group session, you may want to review the contents of the Reach Out Brochure and develop discussion points and activities that relate to nurturing relationships and self-care. In the session, you can either hand out brochures for parents to read to themselves or have parents take turns reading the sections aloud. After completing the session, you might also consider giving a "homework assignment" that builds on the tips in the brochure. For example, make a date to do something enjoyable with your spouse, take time to go on a fun outing with one or more of the family, or spend time with your adult friends in a social setting.
    Provide an overview of the contents of the Resource Guide for parents, encouraging the group to learn more by using at least one resource before the next meeting. If anyone in the group knows of additional resources, ask them to bring them to the next meeting.

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  • Stationery


    Have the parents brainstorm ways of using this stationery to introduce their teen's condition and advocate for their teen. Consider giving a "homework assignment" asking parents to draft letters on the stationery and bring them to the next session to share with other parents for further discussion.
 
 
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