Timber Canady & Kailyn Houston

The above bed was designed to help protect those with epilepsy from injury during a seizure. The sides are made from a flexible woven wire fabric, strong enough to stop a person falling out of the bed. The fabric was elastic enough so that if a person did hit the sides it would not cause injury or any shock. An advertisement for the bed suggests that it cost £5 to buy. This bed was used at the Liverpool Royal Infirmary in England during 1851-1920.

During the early years of the 20th century, perspectives on epilepsy were significantly different than they are today. The research yielded a significant amount of occurrences in the borough of West Ham during the 20th century. There was a lack of complete data that displayed the occurrence of epilepsy within adults. Most of the data we were able to obtain mainly involved that of children and their schooling in relation to their epilepsy diagnosis. The operational definition for epilepsy in these observations included the inability or difficulty for a child to learn in the average classroom. It was believed that if the child had more than one impairment, they were unable to attend school at all. We also noticed the language used when discussing a child’s epileptic diagnosis. Terms like ‘defect’, ‘special school’, and ‘mentally balanced’ were regularly used throughout these reports. We will be exploring these subtopics and trends of epilepsy.

History of Epilepsy

Epileptic Colonies

Diagnosing Epilepsy

Education & Disability

Drug Treatment

Poverty and Disease in 1950s

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