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Epilepsy Support Services

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 amount of support services offered to patient families. 

Educational Services

Lurie Children's Epilepsy Center provides free educational services to all families within the division. The educational services consist of working with the education liaison for support with navigating school questions and/or concerns.

Why Educational Services? 

Every child has a legal right to an education, including children with a medical condition and/or a disability. It is also important that every child be provided with access to meaningfully participate in their school communities to foster their cognitive and social development. Children with a medical condition and/or a disability may require special services to ensure their success at school. Sometimes families need support with understanding what services are available and how to obtain them. A Lurie Children’s education liaison can offer this support to families. 

Services

The education liaison can support families by providing consultation, coordination, psychoeducation, advocacy, and referral services related to your child’s educational needs. These services may include:

  • Assistance with understanding your child’s learning needs
  • Education regarding your child’s educational rights and your rights as a parent/guardian
  • Review of school documents including IEPs, 504 plans, evaluations, etc.
    • An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is a legal document developed and implemented to meet a child’s unique educational needs. The school multidisciplinary team, with input from parents/guardians, creates learning goals and accommodations that address a child’s educational, social, emotional, and medical needs. 
    • A 504 is a written plan that provides accommodations for a child with specific needs. Accommodations may include adjustments in a child’s educational program or address a specific condition. 
  • Attendance at school meetings
  • Consultation and support for identifying and enrolling in an appropriate school program, obtaining special education services, and navigating school transitions
  • Collaboration and coordination with your child’s multidisciplinary team within the Pediatric Epilepsy Center
  • Referral to Lurie Children’s social work department, Legal Council, or other outside services as appropriate

Meet Your Child’s Education Liaison

Amanda Torres is the Education Liaison for the Pediatric Epilepsy Center. Previous to starting at Lurie Children’s, Amanda worked as a school social worker with Chicago Public Schools serving children with special needs. Amanda also has experience working with general education students in k-12th grade. Amanda holds a master’s degree in Social Work with a Professional Educator License (PEL). She enjoys supporting her patients’ well-being and educational success by collaborating with their families, schools, and medical team.

Contact Information 

Amanda Torres, MSW
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Education Liaison, Children’s Services
Pediatric Epilepsy Center
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
225 East Chicago Avenue, Box 130, Chicago, IL 60611-2991
312.227.4516 | amatorres@luriechildrens.org

Resources 

Amanda Torres, MSW

Education Liaison

Social Work Services

Our social workers are valuable members of our epilepsy treatment team who have expertise in providing emotional support to patients and their families. They serve as an important liaison between the family and medical team. They help families adjust to their child’s illness, medical recommendations and emotions related to diagnosis. They provide crisis intervention and assess for safety issues concerning abuse and neglect. In addition, our social workers assist families in identifying resources such as special education programs, community counseling services, outreach programs, respite centers, home health aides, and referrals to various support programs that help meet basic needs.

Josephine DeLira, LCSW

Social Worker

Amy Diamond, MSW, LCSW

Social Worker

Support Staff

When you contact the Epilepsy Center, you will speak with one of the following team members who will guide you through next steps. All members of our support staff speak both English and Spanish. 

Clara Samaniego 

Administrative Supervisor

Luciano Pedroza

Senior Administrative Assistant

Cristina Velez

Financial Clearance Coordinator

Maya Delcid

Administrative Assistant

Stephanie Guerra

Administrative Assistant

Jacqueline Hernandez

Clinical Coordinator

Nursing Staff

Alicia Alonso, RN

Registered Nurse

Jami Chilvers, RN

Registered Nurse

Grace Gibson, RN

Registered Nurse

Kelly Nelson, RN

TSC RN Coordinator

Kristin Vandenbranden, RN

Registered Nurse

Michelle Vergara, RN

Registered Nurse

Debbie Williams, RN, BSN

 RN Clinical Coordinator