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Troubles Taking The Act.


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#1 marshallteddy

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 09:13 AM

I'm going to be a senior in high school and I just recently found out I had narcolepsy. I've always been an "A" "B" student, but once I got on the right medicine my grades shot up. This was great news and I thought I should take the ACT while properly prescribed. I took it twice while on Nuvigil and my ACT score stayed the exact same. I normally don't need extra time on tests in my highschool, but whenever I take the ACT I'm really stressed and that makes tired. I never finish any section of the ACT, and it bothers me that I can't get a good grade on the one test that matters most, but I can ace all my other academic tests.

Basically I was wondering if this is a situation to apply for extended time on the ACT, or if it's just normal stress and not related to the narcolepsy. Has anyone ever gotten extended time on the ACT for narcolepsy? I feel like I need the extra time, but at the same time I feel like I'm cheating because I don't know if I actually need because of a legitamently medical condition or if it's just the fact that maybe I didn't get enough rest and I'm just stressing out.

#2 malachi777

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 09:22 AM

Hi There! Typically, we narcoleptic's also suffer with ADD due to the condition. If you can get the correct 504 paperwork from your school and a diagnosis of both narcolepsy and ADD, yes you will get more time on tests, among other benefits. Hope this helps.



#3 marshallteddy

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 09:26 AM

Hi There! Typically, we narcoleptic's also suffer with ADD due to the condition. If you can get the correct 504 paperwork from your school and a diagnosis of both narcolepsy and ADD, yes you will get more time on tests, among other benefits. Hope this helps.


Ok so if I haven't been tested for ADD, then I should probably do that?
And can you get extended time with just narcolepsy and cataplexy?

#4 Hank

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 11:54 AM

I was tested for ADHD before my N diagnosis was made. What a mess. It is an entirely seperate diagnosis although there are overlapping was in which it impacts us.

I scored very high on IQ. I scored moderately high on anxiety and moderately high on depression. Unfortunately, questions for depression often ask questions about sleep and energy level which gives a "false" positive for depression. I had (and still do but less so) anxiety about certain social situations and completion of tasks. My anxiety does not cause these difficulties, it is a response to the diffficulty of N. So, the evaluator concluded that depression and anxiety were the cause of my difficulties with sustained focus and concentration, since the testing for ADHD revealed no cognitive deficits during the test. I was also labled a drug seeker because my FP had started me on Adderall to which I responded favorably. I was then left in a very awkward in between- without a diagnosis of ADHD, not yet diagnosed with N, and responding well to a narcotic based on "self reported" problems. That entire process was humiliating and undermined my credibility.

So, I would be very careful about trying for a second diagnosis. If you have a solid N diagnosis, I would suggest sticking with that so you do not muddy the waters. However, I would recommend "borrowing" accommodations used for people with ADHD that might benefit you.

I hope that makes sense. That is what I have learned from my experience.

#5 marshallteddy

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 01:49 PM

I was tested for ADHD before my N diagnosis was made. What a mess. It is an entirely seperate diagnosis although there are overlapping was in which it impacts us.
I scored very high on IQ. I scored moderately high on anxiety and moderately high on depression. Unfortunately, questions for depression often ask questions about sleep and energy level which gives a "false" positive for depression. I had (and still do but less so) anxiety about certain social situations and completion of tasks. My anxiety does not cause these difficulties, it is a response to the diffficulty of N. So, the evaluator concluded that depression and anxiety were the cause of my difficulties with sustained focus and concentration, since the testing for ADHD revealed no cognitive deficits during the test. I was also labled a drug seeker because my FP had started me on Adderall to which I responded favorably. I was then left in a very awkward in between- without a diagnosis of ADHD, not yet diagnosed with N, and responding well to a narcotic based on "self reported" problems. That entire process was humiliating and undermined my credibility.
So, I would be very careful about trying for a second diagnosis. If you have a solid N diagnosis, I would suggest sticking with that so you do not muddy the waters. However, I would recommend "borrowing" accommodations used for people with ADHD that might benefit you.
I hope that makes sense. That is what I have learned from my experience.


Ok so how would I go about "borrowing" said ADHD accommodations?

#6 Hank

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 06:42 PM

Go to your school guidance counsellor. Tell him or her that you have a medical diagnosis which causes some difficulty for you on standardized tests. Essentially, you just need extra time. This may be similar to how they have assisted people with ADHD, although that is not what you have. Then ask for help navigating the process and identify what you need to do, eg. doctors note or supporting documentation.

This should not be a big deal. The school has a vested interest in you achieving high scores. Plus, you are a student who is interested and tries hard and you just need some help. People like to help people like you- it will be worth their effort.

#7 KwytRandum

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 02:18 PM

You need a 504 plan. If you are 18 you can do this on your own, otherwise you will need a parent/guardian signature. Your school should have a 504 coordinator. It is typically a guidance counselor, but if it is not they will know who it is. 504 plans were created to give reasonable accommodations to anyone with a documented medical condition that impacts a life activity. N w/C is a medical condition, learning is the life activity. It is a really easy process where you just need a Doctor's note. Then you develop a list of accommodations. In addition to extra time on tests, you can ask for your schedule to accommodate nap breaks. SAT's now accept 504 accommodations so if you are planning on taking those start the process right away. You should be able to complete it before school starts in the fall. Best of luck!
(This advice based on 25 years as a teacher in public schools) m