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#1 DayDreaming

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 08:03 PM

I am going into senior year... so of course the only thing on my mind right now is College(and sleeph hah) I was wondering what other people's application process has been like because I'm nervous! Do you think it would a good to bring up narcolepsy and how? I have thought about writing one of my essays on it. I am afraid that some of the top tier/fav schools I am applying to will distance themselves from me though. I feel like they might be quick to assume I can't be as actively involved in campus life/class discussion as the other straight A applicant they compare me with! It has taken multiple discussions for my school to finally understand (somewhat) the gravity of narcolepsy. It seems like it may be a lot to hope an admissions counselor would be able to handle. What are your thoughts? It is obviously something I do want to address in some way(interviews?emails?) since it is such a huge part of my life and effects my education. I imagine many of you may not have been as fortunate as I am to have been diagnosed so early...your input will still be appreciated! Also if i'm lucky enough to catch the eye of someone who has been through the process...do you know of any schools(like your own maybe lol) that have been good with your narcolepsy(like teachers, schedueles etc)?



#2 Kimberly

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 10:09 PM

DayDreaming, what an exciting time in your life!!

I had Narcolepsy symptoms in college but was not diagnosed until age 33. You are very lucky to know about your condition going in.

Whichever schools you're considering, I would recommend looking into the resources they have in place to support students with disabilities. I went to Arizona State University, and during my time there I worked in the Disability Resource Center. They had a very comprehensive program for students with visual impairments, hearing impairments, mobility impairments, learning disabilities, and even "hidden" disabilities like Narcolepsy. The program coordinators there arranged accommodations based on documentation provided by the students' doctors. For Narcolepsy, some of the things you might want to have lined up could be a notetaker (in case you have bad Automatic Behavior in lecture classes), allowing you to tape-record lectures in case you fall into a microsleep, and potentially even setting up longer test times to be administered outside of the classroom with a break in between for a nap. You might not need them, you might not need them all the time, but it would be important to already be registered with the center "just in case."

There is a LOT of information on this website : http://www.jan.wvu.edu . It is JAN, the Job Accommodation Network, which is a site that is focused on assisting people with disabilities obtain appropriate accommodations in the workplace. They also have an education portal so there will be resources on there to help you in your college planning too.

If a school would be less likely to accept you because you reveal your Narcolepsy in your college essay, you probably don't want to go there anyway. That's just my two cents!! You may also want to look into grants or scholarships that are available to students with disabilities. Every little bit helps!

Again, congratulations and best of luck to you.

Kimberly

#3 DayDreaming

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 09:23 PM

Thanks so much for your response Kimberly! haha it is exciting but also pretty daunting. Checking out the disability resource center is def on my to do list haha i'm also looking at some schools that have an honor code where you can take your tests wherever you want! As you can imagine it would be much better to take a test outside of those stuffy classrooms! I will def. look at that website a littler later prob when i'm less tired haha My school's counselor said she heard a lecture about Narcolepsy at Cornell this year that was really impressive. I was wondering if anyone else has heard about school's that have it at least a bit on the radar haha since as my school says i'm the "trailblazer" for them b/c they hadnt even heard about Narcolepsy until I came along! But def. I do agree that "If a school would be less likely to accept you because you reveal your Narcolepsy in your college essay, you probably don't want to go there anyway." I guess I was just fishing around for any sucess stories to give me the confidence in taking that big a risk since its the applicant pool is reaching its peak right now!

#4 Peggy

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 08:55 AM

I'm new to this forum so not sure if this is the correct way to reply! Anyway you may also consider an application for housing accommodation (single room). My son is also attending college next year and I'm really trying to encourage him to apply for single room. He was diagnosed at12 and even with an advanced course load, has managed decent grades - not A's but still decent. I worry how he will manage in college - he also has severe debilitating migraines. Comes home from school every afternoon and sleep for 2-3 hours (he;s on the max dose of Provigil).

I do have a question for you? Any suggestions on waking up in the morning? 2 alarm clocks, full blast, he has to get out of bed to turn them off, but then doesn't remember it at all!





Thanks so much for your response Kimberly! haha it is exciting but also pretty daunting. Checking out the disability resource center is def on my to do list haha i'm also looking at some schools that have an honor code where you can take your tests wherever you want! As you can imagine it would be much better to take a test outside of those stuffy classrooms! I will def. look at that website a littler later prob when i'm less tired haha My school's counselor said she heard a lecture about Narcolepsy at Cornell this year that was really impressive. I was wondering if anyone else has heard about school's that have it at least a bit on the radar haha since as my school says i'm the "trailblazer" for them b/c they hadnt even heard about Narcolepsy until I came along! But def. I do agree that "If a school would be less likely to accept you because you reveal your Narcolepsy in your college essay, you probably don't want to go there anyway." I guess I was just fishing around for any sucess stories to give me the confidence in taking that big a risk since its the applicant pool is reaching its peak right now!
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#5 mtc

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 12:58 PM

QUOTE (DayDreaming @ Aug 24 2008, 08:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am going into senior year... so of course the only thing on my mind right now is College(and sleeph hah) I was wondering what other people's application process has been like because I'm nervous! Do you think it would a good to bring up narcolepsy and how? I have thought about writing one of my essays on it. I am afraid that some of the top tier/fav schools I am applying to will distance themselves from me though. I feel like they might be quick to assume I can't be as actively involved in campus life/class discussion as the other straight A applicant they compare me with! It has taken multiple discussions for my school to finally understand (somewhat) the gravity of narcolepsy. It seems like it may be a lot to hope an admissions counselor would be able to handle. What are your thoughts? It is obviously something I do want to address in some way(interviews?emails?) since it is such a huge part of my life and effects my education. I imagine many of you may not have been as fortunate as I am to have been diagnosed so early...your input will still be appreciated! Also if i'm lucky enough to catch the eye of someone who has been through the process...do you know of any schools(like your own maybe lol) that have been good with your narcolepsy(like teachers, schedueles etc)?

I had Narcolepsy when I was in College. Afer the first day of each class I would tell the teacher that I have N and would fall asleep during the class. also, I would tape the class so I could go back and hear what I missed. I graduated with a 3.7g.p.a. During exam time I could never take two exams in a row so I would have to get special permission to change the exams around. It is challenging, but remember a lot of people have challenges and I will share this one with you. My son who is now 33, has dyslexia so bad that he can't read his own handwriting. He went to a very challenging high school and then to college at Sewane in Tenn. It was very, very difficult, but he was persistent and now I am very proud to say he has his PhD. in molecular biology. Believe me, it was just as tough for him, but in a different way. so good luck to you and YOU CAN do it!!


#6 Mike M

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 11:33 PM

QUOTE (Peggy @ Oct 16 2008, 08:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I do have a question for you? Any suggestions on waking up in the morning? 2 alarm clocks, full blast, he has to get out of bed to turn them off, but then doesn't remember it at all!


For a time, I was struggling terribly in the morning. My doctor offered two suggestions. One was taking my meds (my first dose of stimulants-amphetamine for me) immediately upon waking. So, as I "get up" to shut off the alarms, I swallow the 30 mg (I keep the pills and water on my night table). The second suggestion was even stranger. He suggested that I take a methylphenidate ER tablet with my second Xyrem dose (1 AM for me). I tries it with a 20 mg methylphenidate ER tablet, but that was too strong (I keep waking at 4 AM). So, we switched to a 10 mg methylphenidate ER tablet. Surprisingly, it works. I know it sounds crazy - I literally take a sleep aid and a stimulant within seconds of each other, but I find it much easier to "wake up" now. So, it might be worth having your soon talk to his doctor. Good luck!

#7 sleepless sleeper

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 03:27 PM

I wish you the best of luck, and you can do it. I didn't know that I had N. I had such a hard time staying focused in class. I actually feel asleep during several finals. I just could not cope at all. I had a half tuition scholarship that was jeopardized, and it made me so stressed out. Fortunately by that time I realized that I had some control over my schedule and began taking easy courses with harder courses so if I ended up making a B, sometimes a C, in a class, my GPA would be offset by my easy "A" class. I did this while working, and at one point I had three jobs. I was fortunate enough to go to college in a large city, which provided ample job opportunities. I was able to get jobs with flexible schedules, so even though it was a huge drain mentally, I was able to do it.

It can be done!

#8 omllylisa

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Posted 23 October 2008 - 10:23 AM

I did not have a pleasant college experience (see: dumb things co-workers say thread) and I wish I had responded to the difficulty I had better. Instead I just quit. Now I go to school online and that works for me because I'm a mother of two now. But, for you, let me just say first and foremost, don't ever be afraid to disclose your condition. It is true, if a college doesn't accept you based on your N you wouldn't want to go there anyway. However, you should also keep in mind that it is ILLEGAL for any college to deny you admission based on your disability. Not many colleges will do that because they know this. In fact, most colleges will have a disabilities program in place and I say - take advantage of it and use it as much as possible. Also, having plans or at least ideas in place as to how your disability can be accommodated will make a good impression. Some of your accommodations may be provided by your college so talk to the disability advisor about them prior to starting classes. I think writing your admission essay on your N would be a great idea.

Good luck to you!