A bark from Molly keeps Mia safe

Best friend: Mia Schmidt and her dog Molly, who was adopted from the pound by Mia’s grandmother. Picture: Jane DysonA BREED of dog once popular with European aristocracy is helping a Narwee Public School pupil manage her epilepsy.
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Molly the papillon alerts Alison Schmidt when daughter Mia,7, is about to have a seizure. “In the beginning it was quite strange. She would come and fetch me and I wasn’t sure why,” Mrs Schmidt said.

“Now we know and she comes and finds us and makes the most unusual cry.”

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes seizures of varied intensity and prevalence. A recent report released by Epilepsy Action Australia found that despite its prevalence, epilepsy was a “forgotten condition” that required more discussion.

“A lot of people pretty much think of a seizure as just thrashing around on the floor,” Mrs Schmidt said. “But staring into space, that can be a seizure too.

“Mia doesn’t get invited to play dates. I would gladly explain to a parent what to do if they would just ask.”

Melissa Bessenyei, whose daughter Ellee-Rose, 8, of Engadine, has epilepsy, waited three years before her daughter was offered a spot in a special needs class.

She said the NSW Department of Education and Communities needed to fund classes for children with epilepsy.

“Epilepsy is not just a “fit”,” Mrs Bessenyei said. “It affects behaviour, learning ability; there are social aspects to it.”

Posted by at 19/06/2018
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