Providing Opportunity – Summer Camp – Epilepsy and Autism

Epilepsy at a summer cAMP for children and young adults with developmental disabilities: a 3-year experience.


The comprehensive care of children with epilepsy involves not only the treatment of seizures but also enhancement of their quality of life.

Children with developmental disabilities are often unable to attend traditional summer camps because of safety concerns, as their prevalence of epilepsy is high and tends to be more severe.

The goal of the current study is to describe our epilepsy experience at a summer camp adapted for children with developmental disabilities, with which the U. S. military has had a long-standing relationship.

A retrospective chart review of all children and young adults attending summer sessions between 2008 and 2010 was performed.

A total of 1,526 camp sessions were attended by 818 campers (mean 13.7 years), with 32.3% of campers having epilepsy.

Of campers with epilepsy,

46.6% had cerebral palsy,

57.6% intellectual disability, and

28.8% autism spectrum disorders.

Seizure frequency was at least weekly in 21.2% and at least daily in 13.3%.

A history of status epilepticus was reported in 34.9%.

There were seven camp infirmary visits because of seizures (incidence 1.4%), including two for status epilepticus.

Thus, despite a high prevalence of severe epilepsy, in the setting of appropriate safety precautions, a safe camp experience can be provided, as seizure-related complications are rare.

Reprint & Copyright © 2014 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.

This entry was posted in Autism, co-morbid, Environment, epilepsy, Neurology, Physiology. Bookmark the permalink.

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