Legislation inspired by Chester County 6-year old approved by Education Committee
HARRISBURG – The Education Committee of the House of Representatives today approved legislation authored by Rep. Chris Quinn (R-Delaware) that would promote the training of school personnel in seizure recognition and response. Quinn wrote the legislation after being contacted by a constituent whose grandson, 6-year old Dominic Rosini of West Whiteland, is fighting a rare form of epilepsy.
“As a parent and legislator, Dominic’s story was very compelling,” said Quinn. “Almost overnight, his entire world and that of his family changed. Dominic went from being a healthy child to one suffering as many as 1,000 seizures a day. With epilepsy being more common than many realize, it’s important teachers and school personnel have access to information about recognizing seizures and responding to them.”
Quinn’s legislation, House Bill 416
and referred to as the “DOMinate Epilepsy Law” in honor of Dominic, would make the completion of a Pennsylvania Department of Health approved online course in seizure recognition and first aid creditable for professional continuing education credit. The Department of Health approved online course will be provided by a national nonprofit foundation with an understanding of epilepsy and seizure disorders. The bill is nearly identical to legislation Quinn introduced last legislative session.
Dominic’s grandmother, Beth Scolis of Edgmont, first contacted Quinn in 2019. A public school teacher, she shared with Quinn her concern with the lack of knowledge school professionals have regarding seizures and the need for education on seizure recognition and first aid.
Dominic suffered his first seizure in August 2017, shortly before his third birthday. Other seizures, of various types, soon followed. Dominic underwent extensive testing and endured numerous hospitalizations.
Only a fraction of the seizures Dominic experienced were grand mal seizures. Also known as tonic-clonic seizures, a grand mal seizure is the result of abnormal electrical activity throughout the brain and causes a loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions. It is the type most commonly associated with a seizure.
“Dominic has endured so much in such a short span of time,” said his mother Jessica Rosini, herself a former public school teacher. “He is incredibly brave, and there are more children with epilepsy than most people realize. It’s important teachers know how to recognize and respond to students experiencing a seizure.”
According to the Epilepsy Foundation
, the leading national education, support and advocacy organization for those with epilepsy and their families, one in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime. More than 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with epilepsy every year, and one-third of those with the disease will live with uncontrollable seizures because existing medications and treatments do not work for them.
“More people live with epilepsy than with autism spectrum disorder, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy combined,” said Quinn. “The DOMinate Epilepsy Law is an important first step in protecting students with the disorder and educating school personnel about seizure recognition and first aid.
“I’m grateful to House Education Chairman Curt Sonney (R-Erie) for its swift approval and look forward to getting the legislation in front of the full House in the weeks ahead.”
Representative Chris Quinn
168th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rene Morrow
Dominic pictured on his third birthday (Oct. 2, 2020).