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Do kids get a break if they have a doctor's note?

AbsDadAbsDad Registered User Posts: 76 Junior Member
My daughter has a 4.7 GPA. She has missed 15+ days of school, and been sent home numerous times..... The reason is she gets about 10 migraines a month that last a few hours to 6 days ( we had to hospitalize her once to break the headache ).

She is an incredibly hard worker, and her teachers love her.

I told her not to expect the same considerations for her medical issues when she gets to college.... but maybe some professors would be understanding?
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Replies to: Do kids get a break if they have a doctor's note?

  • happy1happy1 Registered User Posts: 17,496 Senior Member
    edited May 18
    Does she have any formal accommodations now (ex. a 504 plan)?

    Agree with the above post -- you should contact the college's office of disability services and see what type of documentation they would need in order for your daughter to register with them. You and your D should also discuss what type of accommodations they might be able to provide (perhaps alternative testing dates if she has a migraine, leniency for missing classes etc. with a note from health services or something along those lines). As noted above typically the office of disabilities will provide her with a letter for each class stating her accommodations but she would have to take the initiation to meet with each professor at the start of each semester to discuss her issues

    You should also ask if there is a formal school policy about accommodations she might get with a doctor's note on a case by case basis if she isn't registered as having a disability. If the office of Disabilities doesn't have this information someone at the school should know (maybe the Registrar or Health Office -- you may have to search it out). There could be a policy or it may be up to the individual prof.

    If the migraines are triggered by stress she may want to consider taking a lighter than normal schedule at least to start off with. It might be worth a discussion with her current doctor.
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 2,203 Senior Member
    She may even want to do her entire degree with lighter than average loads. Even if her absences are excused, college classes move at a much quicker pace than high school level classes. Making up from a multiple day absence due to health isn't easy.
  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN Registered User Posts: 2,390 Senior Member
    She might be given a letter to give to her profs from the disability office stating that she has a chronic medical condition and may or may not require accommodations. Sometimes the accommodations are not described specifically. Getting the letter is a good thing because otherwise the student has to go around to all the profs individually and describe her problems and with the letter the profs don't have to worry if the story is true or not.
  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 11,102 Senior Member
    edited May 18
    AbsDad, definitely have your daughter look into accommodations -- which actually should be seriously taken into account during your college search and selection process. Good luck but I have a feeling your high-achieving daughter will do just great once she finds the right school.
  • AbsDadAbsDad Registered User Posts: 76 Junior Member
    Thanks. all. I had no clue what a 504 plan was until I just looked it up. Her teachers have been so easy to work with, that I never even considered "disability". But I did know it would not carry over into college, most likely.
  • beth's mombeth's mom Registered User Posts: 3,357 Senior Member
    Agree with @katliamom - she needs to look into accommodations and be sure to visit the disabilities office and find out what they can offer her when she visits schools. Some schools are a lot better than others when it comes to accommodations and the help one can get from the disabilities office. I think she will need help from the disabilities office, because some professors are not particularly accommodating, even with a doctor's note, and debilitating migraines 10 days a month is a LOT.
  • AbsDadAbsDad Registered User Posts: 76 Junior Member
    She has seen 3 neurologists over the last 2 years. No idea what POTS is. But the neurologists all say migraines. She also get nausea when the migraines hit, but all of the neurologists know that, as well.
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 32,159 Senior Member
    Accommodations! I have a chronic illness too that requires accommodations and I am a grad student teacher who often has students with chronic diseases. All I need is confirmation from the disabilities office and I work with the student. At the bare minimum, I follow what the order says but we usually end up having accommodations above and beyond those.

    I think I'm more understanding than some instructors though. She has to be prepared for push back even with proper documentation. It's just the nature of the beast, unfortunately. Especially when you have a so-called invisible disease (as migraines would be).
  • AbsDadAbsDad Registered User Posts: 76 Junior Member
    @romanigypsyeyes .... so even with accommodations from the disabilities office, professors can refuse?

    I am particularly concerned because the school she want to attend has a reputation for very tough grading, based on what I have read here and other places.
  • TempeMomTempeMom Registered User Posts: 2,713 Senior Member
    You didn't come her for medical insights but can't help wondering if the pill might help given the hormonal tie in to migraines. Just put my daughter on for similar sort of "off label" use.
  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 7,964 Senior Member
    It depends on what her accommodations are and what she's asking for from a professor. And what you would interpret to be "refusal".

    If every professor gave a special final exam at a time other than the scheduled exam time to every kid who had a migraine-- well, bedlam would erupt. The professor will have some latitude in terms of deciding what is reasonable and feasible and what is not. But at the end of the day- if your D has a class which meets twice a week, and she misses half the classes that semester, it is going to be close to impossible for her to hear the lectures. If there's a kid in the class who has a note-taker for example- it's reasonable for the professor to get your D a copy of those notes. It is not reasonable to expect the professor to meet one on one with your D for an hour every time she misses a class. And office hours are not for make up sessions.

    You need to contact the disability office of any school she's interested in and get a sense from them as to how they handle cases like your D. You also need to read the withdrawal and incomplete policies very, very carefully. And read the fine print on the tuition insurance policy which many posters here will encourage you to purchase.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,074 Senior Member
    @AbsDad

    You will need to talk to the disabilities offices at EACH college to find out what's what.

    But I agree with others...10 migraines a month? I would want to get to the bottom of THAT. I can't imagine how hard it would be to be in that position.
  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN Registered User Posts: 2,390 Senior Member
    More on the "push back" on accommodations - presumably she would occasionally need more time to complete an assignment or take a test on a different day. The issue might be how many extra days would she expect. I like a student to take a makeup exam within a few days of the original exam so I can wait and hand back all the exams at the same time. If a student wants a makeup after I have already handed back the exam, that means I would have to write an entirely new test. I would do it, but it takes time and as the post above says, what if there are multiple students wanting to take exams at various times.
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