The Epilepsy Center at Lurie Children’s offers one of the most comprehensive and multidimensional care programs in the country. Part of what makes our care so unique is the work of our education specialist, Robert Blaufuss, M. Ed.
Robert, a former school principal, works with up to 125 patient families and their school systems each year to help them understand the educational needs of children with epilepsy and make Individualized Education Plan (IEP) recommendations. After 39 years in the education system, Robert is an expert at communicating with both patient families and schools, translating complicated medical information into terms everyone can understand.
What to Expect
Families usually begin working with Robert after a referral from a team member such as a doctor, nurse or social worker. Before making any IEP suggestions, he learns about the child, the parents and the school system through the following channels:
- Medical and education history review: Robert familiarizes himself with the child’s history, current medical profile and reviews the current IEP if there is one in place already.
- Parent consultation: He consults with the child’s parents to make sure they fully understand how to advocate for what their child needs in the classroom.
- Classroom observation and evaluation: He’ll attend evaluation meetings and sometimes observe classrooms, and, if necessary, he’ll meet with a principal or administrator to learn more about the school.
Robert attends IEP Meetings as part of the support services that he provides to patients, parents and schools. He may also participate in the following:
- IEP meetings and recommendations: With the parent’s invitation, Robert attends IEP meetings and shares his ideas with parents and the school’s multi-disciplinary team members. He helps to make sure both the parents and the school professionals understand how the child’s medical issues may impact learning. He frequently proposes suggestions that can be incorporated into the IEP.
- Informational presentations: Robert talks to classrooms and groups of teachers and administrators about epilepsy to spread awareness and make people more comfortable with the condition.
Recognizing that epilepsy can be scary for people who aren’t familiar with it, Robert’s goal is to ease that fear by giving people enough information to be prepared if an incident happens. His services are available for all Lurie Children’s Epilepsy Center patients.
Explore every component of our multidisciplinary approach to epilepsy treatment by visiting some of our other care areas.
The Epilepsy Center’s unique education program is funded entirely by contributions from our wonderful donors. Visit our Foundation page for more information on how you can support this one-of-a-kind program.