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Teaching Students with LD and ADHD

Narcolepsy


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Mar 14, 2001 at 12:00:01 AM
Subject: Narcolepsy

I can safely say in my 15 years as an educator, that this is a first! I am a counselor in an Alternative School and have been working with a recently diagnosed narcoleptic child. She is not on meds as of yet. Has anyone ever heard of modifications for a student like this? Our teachers are pulling their hair out... they can't let her sleep in class, but neither do they want to punish her for a disability she has no control over. Her situation is truly amazing, God Bless her. She has gone to sleep on an amusement park ride...while the principal was fussing at her...in the middle of a conversation...and we are talking really deeeeep sleep! Any imput would be greatly appreciated.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 23, 2014
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Posted:Mar 14, 2001 12:00:01 AM

: I've never taught a narcoleptic but I have taught kids who've gone without sleep night after night and indeed, they're also terribly sleepy children. I had a child with two alcoholic parents who was up all night every night as no one ever put the children to bed. To their credit, the kids would get themselves to school but then put their heads down on their desks and understandably want to sleep.I never had a good answer to this one except to explain to the child over and over how they needed to put themselves to bed. Two of the siblings actually became capable of doing this, of parenting themselves, and became successful students. The third ended up in an alternative school...I would say this is a kid who sadly can't attend school. School assumes certain things, doesn't it, one of which is that the student will be awake. I "went to school" years ago with a child on a home to school intercom monitor. Are there still such things? That child had a medical condition that made attendance in school impossible but the child's home and all our classrooms were fitted with intercoms. The child could participate in class discussions but turn off the intercom when too ill to do so - even in the middle of the class with no disturbance to the class.Other than that, she needs to be medicated. God bless you for trying to accomodate this child before she's on medication for this disorder.Good luck.I can safely say in my 15 years as an educator, that this is a first!
: I am a counselor in an Alternative School and have been working
: with a recently diagnosed narcoleptic child. She is not on meds as
: of yet. Has anyone ever heard of modifications for a student like
: this? Our teachers are pulling their hair out... they can't let
: her sleep in class, but neither do they want to punish her for a
: disability she has no control over. Her situation is truly
: amazing, God Bless her. She has gone to sleep on an amusement park
: ride...while the principal was fussing at her...in the middle of a
: conversation...and we are talking really deeeeep sleep! Any imput
: would be greatly appreciated.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 23, 2014
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Posted:Mar 18, 2001 11:44:23 AM

Narcolepsy is not a desire to sleep. I can't be helped. You can't simply 'not let' a narcoleptic sleep.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 23, 2014
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Posted:Mar 18, 2001 2:37:39 PM

Right. I don't think anyone deemed it a "desire to sleep." Both the original poster and myself recognize it aa a disorder.

That's the child can't help but sleep is the problem. What we're talking about, though, is not the problem, but a possible solution to that problem. Other than medication sadly neither of us could think of a solution.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 23, 2014
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Posted:Mar 18, 2001 6:23:50 PM

Thank you for sharing how very rare you believe a student with known narcolepsy is.

How do you deal with a student who all of a sudden has an epileptic seizure of some type? Do sudden, unannounced seizures ever occur in class? How do you deal with sudden, unannounced seizures which can occur from time to time in a classroom?

Have you considered asking the parents of the child and the child herself whether there perhaps is a certain time of day which for some reason a narcolepsy event may be a little less likely to occur (her peak learning time)? Would that perhaps be in the morning or the afternoon? If she has a time where narcolepsy shows itself a little less often, perhaps that would be the time to teach her the most difficult material and leave the easier material for those periods where she is involuntarily asleep due to the very rare neurological challenge known as narcolepsy.

Best wishes.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 23, 2014
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Posted:Mar 20, 2001 4:10:40 PM
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Anonymous
Joined Oct 23, 2014
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Posted:Mar 27, 2001 3:25:42 PM

Perhaps provide the parents a copy of your bi-weekly, weekly, or monthly lesson plan and suggest that the parents try to simply introduce the material to the student the night before. The parents are not asked to teach just briefly cover what will be taught the night before. Maybe do one or two sample problems in math or english. She may not miss out on as much then and may even have a head start on some of the problems or worksheets.

Then if she sleeps through some of your lecture she may still have enough to move ahead.

I would also suggest that when teaching and she is awake give it the once over without a lot of extra verbage....explain new concepts with the best quickest examples first.....then go into more detail. If she is still awake great...if not it will give you the opportunity to go on and pick the moment you will disrupt her sleep and not disrupt the whole class.

Place her in the front row near you so that when you do decide to wake her you don't have to go far and the kids eyes will always be forward and not looking back to see if she is asleep or watch her sleep.

Consider putting a tape recorder on your desk or on you and when she falls asleep hit record and ONLY record the Vital material that she is missing.

Reduce the number of problems she has to complete so that if she is awake all of Math period maybe she only is required to do half the number of problems but spends the rest of the time completing the english worksheet she slept through. Maybe have her only spell 1/3 of her sleeping words by writting and the other words she simply picks out the correct spelled work for three. Like
shovel
shoval have her simply circle the correct one (if this takes her less time)
shuval

This issue becomes a matter of making the max use of time...in this case awake time.

Keep in mind that at home this girl is falling asleep all the time so the parents only have so much time to help with school and still have a family life. However providing these additional resources and letting the parents select how much to use and when (as a team approach) may be helpful. With good feedback you can then fine tune what you are doing.

Hope this helps!!!

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