Going to Movie Theatres with Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy (My Personal Experiences)

My Experiences Going to Movie Theatres with Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy

Like many people, I have always enjoyed going to the movies with my friends and family. My favorite types of movies to go see are comedies and films based on true stories. However, due to my Cerebral Palsy and my mild form of epilepsy, I also dread going to the movie theatre because of how it can affect both of these conditions.

When it comes to having spastic Cerebral Palsy, I tend not to do so well with loud noises and screaming since it makes me jump. The flashing lights and moving colors that are often on theatre screens are not good for people with epilepsy. As a result, whenever I go to the cinema I have to worry about what may happen if this movie has a scene where there is a lot of flashing lights or moving colors, or if it has loud noises that could make me jump and cause other movie go-ers to stare at me.

Dealing with self conciousness

Each of these disabilities impacts my life in different ways and sometimes it makes me very cautious about going out to certain places because of the responses that I get from the people around me. My body has a mind of its own, which can get out of control when it’s triggered by my epilepsy. It shakes and moves around and I have no idea what’s going on with my body. I don’t know if there will ever be a time where I can go to the theatres and be comfortable to enjoy the movie without a single worry on my mind.

Dealing with self-consciousness when going to the movies with epilepsy
Pictured above: Author, Tylia, at a movie theatre.

How movies could be made epilepsy friendly

It would be nice to be able to enjoy certain movies without having to be cautious about them having flashing lights or loud noises in them. This could be made possible if filmmakers would gain more awareness about epilepsy and other conditons, and how these conditions affect movie goers that enjoy movies but also have to worry about their epilepsy or other symptoms being triggered during the movie.

This would mean that people like myself could enjoy films and head out to the theatre more often without a single worry about their bodies or having to deal with the stress of not being able to enjoy the film because of their health. My combination of Cerebral Palsy and epilepsy together cause me to experience this stress every time I see a movie.

Movies could be made epilepsy friendly

Until filmmakers make efforts to change this I will continue to go to the cinema and watch brand new movies because I refuse to miss out on things that everyone should be able to enjoy.

About the Author:

Tylia Flores is a 24-year-old born with cerebral palsy. Although her condition has affected her mobility, it has never affected her will and determination to make a difference in the world. Through her many life challenges and obstacles, she discovered her passion for writing. Tylia’s goal in life is to share her stories with the world.

Living With Chronic Non Epileptic Seizures

Brain puzzle

Hiya!  My name is Ruthy, and I live with non epileptic seizures.  Seizures of various sorts are very common in young people so I decided to share how I learned to live with them  because they affect me on a daily basis in such varied ways.  To begin with, it actually took a long old time to get diagnosed!


Well That Was Sudden- Sort Of

It all started back in 2009.  I was developing some photos in the dark room at Sixth Form when I suddenly found myself on the floor being shaken awake by my friend.  I thought it must have been the fumes, so I wasn’t overly concerned.  Over the next month however, I was losing consciousness almost daily, and had no idea why.  My doctor’s initial response was, “Well, you’re just susceptible to fainting”.  It still makes me laugh to this day!  Er well done Sherlock!



Soon, it stopped being just fainting though.  I started shaking and jerking badly before and after the fainting spells.  I also began suffering from migraines and head pain after I came around.

I was finally referred to Cardiology and fitted with a heart monitor.  I was also put through various other tests-but everything came back normal except one thing.  My heart rate tripled right before I lost consciousness.  At least it was something.


Choosing A Future

My sixth form was useless.  The staff there had no idea how to help me and offered no support.  I also bombed my AS levels something awful since I was missing so many classes.  The most any of the teachers did was to say I could retake them and sit in on last years classes.  But I couldn’t do that as they clashed with my A2 ones.  My plans for university seemed to be vanishing and my doctor was saying I should consider a break from sixth form.


BooksI felt like I had to make a big choice back then: take a break and wait in the hopes of ever getting better or keep pushing towards the future I so badly wanted.  I chose to push.  I studied independently like crazy so I’d be able to apply to uni.  I begged my school to let me take my exams in a separate room to others so my blackouts wouldn’t disturb other people and I’d be under less stress.  They refused.  So I panicked like crazy and took my exams feeling awful.

Luckily, all that studying paid off.  My university dreams were real!  I was so scared about going though, how would I cope, what happened if I lost consciousness around strangers.   And I still didn’t actually know what was happening to me.  I mentioned my condition on my university registration forms but wasn’t aware of any available help I should have been receiving.


I had an awful first year at uni.  Although I was lucky enough to meet some brilliant people, I was missing classes, had no support with my condition, and becoming a VIP in the local A&E.  But everything changed at the end of the year.  In a bizarrely lucky incident, I collapsed outside the Student Support Office!  The team there were horrified I’d had no support that year and promised i’d have it arranged for the next.  I could have cried.  It was so good to know things would change.


A Wild Diagnosis Appears

During this time, I had been referred to a new cardiologist and had once again come through my tests pretty normal.  Afterwards, I was referred to a Neurologist.  After I had several tests and an overnight observation, I was finally diagnosed with Non Epileptic Seizures.  I’d been on Beta blockers, a medication for seizures, previously but the neurologist didn’t think they were suitable for me.  I was pretty much handed a diagnosis and left to get on with life.

Years later and I am now on epilepsy medication.  I has removed most of the “fitting” activity but I still endure the collapsing.  Curious eh?


wild stressorsStress, strobe lighting, heat, cold and physical exhaustion can all lead to my seizures.  I have some great stories about seizures while out clubbing and needing to be carried out over a bouncer’s shoulder!  I have learned to check myself for how tired I am, and to listen to my body more so I end up in fewer bad situations.  My university also stepped up and given me a disability mentor and extensions for my coursework along with a separate room for my exams which has made a world of difference.


Unexpected Twist

Things got bad again in my third year.   My seizures increased due to stress.  To my horror, my university told me I wasn’t well enough to be there and suggested a year out.  I was quite offended and refused.  I kept at my studies finally passing my IT with Management of Business degree with a 2.1 in 2014.

I think it’s important to go with your gut feeling rather than just doing as told.  I knew I could do the degree.  I just needed some reasonable adjustments!


Then And Now


After university, I got in to a Graduate program, moved to London, and have kept pushing to find balance between what I want to do and what I can do physically.  I work full time from home.  Solo travel anywhere is an absolute nightmare for me but my work have thankfully taken that on as a reasonable adjustment. (as they are legally obliged to do) I still live in the hope that my disability might ease off one day. In the meantime, I’m doing my best to make it work.


I hear about a lot of young people, women especially, who have trouble with seizures and fainting.  I hope my story can offer a bit of comfort that while these conditions are life affecting and really suck, they don’t need to rule your life.

Achieving your dreams is totally possible if you find the right balance for you!
Thanks 🙂


Ruthy WebsdaleRuthy is a twenty something geek masquerading as a business consultant. She spends her conscious time costume making, pole dancing, gaming and blogging over at http://d2shine.co.uk

9 Reasons Epilepsy Needs To Be Talked About

epilepsy awareness

I have been diagnosed with epilepsy since I was 9 years old and that has been 17 years ago now. Growing up it didn’t take me long to realize that something that was harming my body each and everyday was often referred to as a joke to many people. Whether that was because people didn’t understand it, didn’t care or never heard of it, it was frustrating and hurtful. So as someone who lives with the seizures as well as their side effects each and everyday of her life, here are my reasons Epilepsy needs to be talked about more often.

epilepsy awareness

1)  1 in 26 people suffer from epilepsy

Epilepsy affects every 1 in 26 people from all around the world. 1 in 26! That’s quite a few people there. So your seizure joke may be funny to you because you don’t have it but you could also be hurting someone close to you that you had no idea had seizures.


2) Lack of understanding

While there are so many people with Epilepsy around the world, often a person with Epilepsy doesn’t know anyone else where they live. It can be a very lonely and scary illness. Epileptics often lose friendships over their illness because of people’s lack of understanding.


3) Anyone can get a seizure

Anyone of any age, any race, male or female can have a seizure. A person who is perfectly healthy can have a seizure and develop Epilepsy. And even a person without Epilepsy can have at least 1 seizure in their life.


4) Many different types

There’s no one kind of seizure and there’s no one size fits all kind of epilepsy. The kind of seizures you see on TV are Grand-Mal seizures and many of us don’t have that kind! There are many different types of seizure as well many different types of Epilepsy. You can actually have more than one type of seizure.


5) You do not always have to go to the hospital

A person does not always need to go to the hospital after a seizure! Most of the time when you call 911 we are thankful you care but annoyed at the waste of our time. Unless the seizure last longer than 5 minutes, we having back to back seizures with no rest time in between or we aren’t physically hurt there’s nothing emergency responders can do for us!

6) Epilepsy often starts at young age

Epilepsy often starts at a young age for many of us. Because our peers and teachers more often than not don’t have any idea how to help us during a seizure or even know what it is, our parents often have to fight the schools to get the help we need during school. Whether that help is with school work or having a safe place for us if we should have a seizure, among many other is just more reason it should be taught about in schools. So when a school comes across a child with Epilepsy, the teachers, staff and students don’t treat it like it’s foreign topic.

7) No known reason for seizure

Most of the time there is no known reason for our seizures. If you ask us why we have seizures often the answer will be “I have no clue.” And it’s not like we didn’t try to figure that out ourselves either! Other times our seizures are due to a birth defect, genetics, to many hits to the head or brought on by another illness. You’ll never get the same answer from two Epileptics.


8) Limitations

Epilepsy can limit us from doing many things our healthy peers can do. Often because of our seizures we cannot drive a car, riding a bike can be impossible and even taking the bus alone can be unsafe. Many of us don’t feel safe showering alone and many have to wear helmets to protect their head when they fall. That is because we never know when or where a seizure will hit us especially if we don’t have an aura (a feeling, taste, smell, sensation epileptics can get before a seizure), which many of us don’t.

9) Possible brain damage

Every seizure we have damages our brain in some way. The longer we don’t have our seizures under control the longer damage is being done to our bodies. And that damage affects every part of our body not just to our brains. Thanks to our seizures we can bite our tongues, wake up with bruises, cuts and scrapes from falling or hitting something during a seizure.


Serious business!

It’s more serious than most people think. It can sometimes be deadly. SUDEP, sudden unexpected death of someone with Epilepsy who was otherwise healthy. Each year, more than 1 out of 1,000 people with epilepsy die from SUDEP. If seizures are uncontrolled the risk of SUDEP increases to more than 1 out of 150. How scary is that? Someone you love with seizures could possible die if they don’t get the help they need.



Many things can trigger our seizures. Such as lack of sleep, a fever, flashing lights, stress, low blood sugar, certain foods or medicines and even a woman’s period. So if we say we need a nap or can’t eat your moms food or can’t go to your concert it’s not because we want to hurt you and don’t want to. But the more we can prevent our seizures the more we’ll be able to do other things with you.



Despite all the challenges Epilepsy can give us and even though we look like perfectly healthy people on the outside it still hurts when people don’t acknowledge the fact that we are sick. We don’t want you to treat us differently because truth is we can do almost everything people without Epilepsy can do. But sometimes we won’t be able to things with you and when that happens all we ask for is understanding that we’ll try to be there next time so please don’t stop asking us. We don’t expect you to fully understand though. We don’t expect you to even try to but if we can have you there to vent about our problems it helps us through the bad days. Even if you don’t relate in any way it helps us feel not so alone. But most of all we want you to make an effort to learn about our illness. To learn how to help us during a seizure, what the signs are before a seizure starts, and as much information about Epilepsy that you can. So that way you are not only helping us but maybe someone else you might come across having a seizure. If you do that you are showing us how much you care about us and you are one less person who doesn’t understand our illness.

Spoonie Story: Amber

spoonie story amber

Hi all, my name is Amber. I’d like to share my Spoonie story. In 2012 I went to bed one night normally and woke up in the hospital. My husband informed me that I had a Grand Mal seizure and was aspirating in my sleep. My amazing dog Bear started barking and pulled my husband off the couch, leading him into the bedroom to find me. I would not be alive without my doggie.

spoonie story amber
After my hospital stay I was diagnosed with Epilepsy (Tonic Clonic) which led to a positive Spinal Tap…Multiple Sclerosis! Oh joy. I have already had Rheumatoid Arthritis since I was 21. I lost my drivers license and had to stop working as a successful Paralegal. I was in shock and angry at the world.
Earlier this year I had neck surgery due to Cervical Stenosis…but..:

I still smile and still go on! I have pushed myself to the point of happiness and “feeling a-ok!” I take my insane amount of meds (lol) and sometimes even forget I am sick! It’s amazing what a positive attitude can do!!! I am no longer angry at the world, I am happy with everything else in my life and blessed with an amazing husband and dog(s).
I owe my life to Bear and now I am a fighter!!! I am inspired by the Spoonies For Life Facebook page and all of you that also fight everyday like me!!!