Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Share feedback related to your experience on College Confidential to help us shape future initiatives.

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

1246

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

  • i_wanna_be_Browni_wanna_be_Brown Registered User Posts: 7,837 Senior Member
    POTS = Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. It's a neurological disorder that usually begins in adolescence.

    http://www.dysautonomiainternational.org/page.php?ID=30

    Migraines aren't a typical symptom but if migraine regimens are failing her (which it sounds like they are) then it might be worth considering that it isn't actually migraines. Tilt table testing is about as noninvasive as a test can get so doesn't hurt to consider it. Not a lot of physicians with experience treating it though.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 24,987 Senior Member
    edited May 19
    So sorry she's dealing with this. My thoughts only come from our own experience with D1's hs problem, which she said was more days in a month, than not. After the neurologist and MRI, they suggested it could be (or could have developed into) "rebound headaches." She had to be weaned off the Rx she used for them. She eventually outgrew the headaches and it's possible OP's D will, before college.

    I am not minimizing. But this is something to be watched- and possibly planned for- but OP will need to see, over the next 7-12 months.

    He doctors all think she's in good health,otherwise? No issues with weight, hydration, eyes, etc?


    ** Edit: I realize now she's in 10th. That's roughly 1.5 years til she applies, 2.5 til she starts.
  • Nrdsb4Nrdsb4 Registered User Posts: 14,811 Senior Member
    D2 started experiencing debilitating migraines this past fall-one involved losing vision in one eye and hospitalization. Of course, she had the typical vomiting/must lay in a dark room experience. She is in law school, and the work/reading is voluminous. Even with "understanding" professors, the work would still have to be done, the material must be learned. Getting behind is not an option. Excusing the absences is all fine and good, but there is no way to get an accommodation that she doesn't have to learn the material to same degree that the other students must-and law school is all about the class rank.

    It's been a challenge, and seeing a neurologist and getting some Rx has helped.

    I hope you get a handle on this for your D before college. The constant "catching up" would be really stressful for the perfectionist type, and there is only so long a person can tolerate that kind of stress before it takes a toll.

    Personally, I would keep trying to find the cause of these headaches. Good luck.
  • NEPatsGirlNEPatsGirl Registered User Posts: 2,231 Senior Member
    I just want to add to a previous poster whose child has "hormonal" migraines, something I was also diagnosed with as an early teen. Yes, they did subside in my late teens but be prepared that, as in my case, they may possibly start up again with pregnancies and peri-menopause.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 8,369 Senior Member
    There are migraine specialists and clinics that specialize in women's migraines and seizures. Some try bioidentical progesterone, or target the premenstrual changes in particular. Weather is a big trigger. It is important to say that stress is a trigger, not a cause.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 14,571 Senior Member
    I don't think anyone in the thread said the migraines were not real or didn't give sympathy or suggestions. The original question was would schools give consideration to 'a doctor's note' and the answer was yes, many would but that may not be enough to overcome too many missed classes or late assignments. Sometimes there just isn't anything that can be done except take a smaller load or have a different lifestyle than that of a typical college student.

    The suggestions were also to document this as a disability and not depend on the school to be accommodating (as it appears the high school has been without a 504 plan). There are majors that will work better than others. Group projects may not be possible.
  • HImomHImom Registered User Posts: 29,775 Senior Member
    Our S had frequent and prolonged absences throughout HS, due to chronic medical issues. Once he was admitted to Us he chose, I contacted all the ones he seriously was interested in and asked how each would work with him with the frequent and prolonged absences. Each U had different answers. We chose one of the two large Us who promised to work with S and indicated they had other students with similar issues who had successfully graduated from their Us.

    We got a letter from S's MD with the accommodations she recommended and sent it to the U he chose. We also went to his U a week prior to move in day with appts with 3 different MDs at the Med School so he could have a MD at the U if he needed one there.

    He fortunately never needed his accommodations but it was reassuring they were in place in case of need.

    I agree that having your D evaluated for POTS might be helpful (our kids gave it). It might also be useful to ask if treatment with supplemental oxygen might be helpful--it provides great relief to some patients.
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 32,848 Senior Member
    edited May 23
    IMO, this doesn't sound at all like POTS but hey, can't hurt to rule it out if a doc is willing to order it. It's a tilt table test. I did it several months ago to rule out POTS when my blood pressure dropped dramatically every time I stood up and when my resting heart rate began creeping up into the 140s, 150s.

    I said this in a PM to the OP but I should put it here too in case anyone else stumbles across this thread.

    I have had horrendous migraines since middle school. Not as often as the OP's D but often enough. They never could figure out what was causing them. When I was dx'ed with lupus (etc) and began treatment, the migraines mostly went away. Turns out, they weren't migraines at all but rather what are known as lupus headaches which present like migraines. I had them way before any other symptoms.

    I am NOT saying the OP's D has what I have. I do agree with looking beyond the head and CNS since that seems to be a failing path.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 11,672 Super Moderator
    edited May 29
    Here's the thing. Although her professors may be as sympathetic, the issue is not whether or not her professors are understanding but the volume of work she will miss. A college class may meet only 30 times in one semester, and if she misses 15 days that is 50% of the courses. At that point even a class with the most understanding professor may be difficult to pass let alone do well in - she'd miss too much of the material.

    Looking into accommodations isn't a bad idea, but college really isn't so black and white that there's no area between "qualifies as a registered disability with accommodations" and "no help at all." Even if her migraines don't "count" by the school's estimation as a disability, she could still talk to individual professors and let them know that she has a chronic illness that often interferes with her work on a regular basis and that she'll keep them updated as much as possible.

    Is she on daily medication for migraines? I get frequent migraines too. Unmedicated, I get anywhere from 6 to 10 a month, and they last me anywhere from a few hours to 3 days, although I did one time have an episode that lasted a week). I take a beta blocker daily and that has helped reduce the frequency and duration. I still get between 2 and 6 a month, I'd say, but they don't last quite as long and the symptoms are less intense. I get vertigo, nausea/vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, blurred vision and a decreased sense of balance - I run into walls. I can't drive. Anyway, she might want to try a daily if she hasn't already.

    This is what I do at work - my manager and my closest coworkers are aware that I have frequent migraines and if they're interfering with my work in some way, I let those necessary know. I work a pretty flexible job, the kind where I could go home at 1 pm one day if I had a debilitating migraine and come back early or stay late the next day to finish what I needed to finish. In many ways my job is actually more flexible than college or graduate school, and managers more understanding/less rigid.

    (Also, to those saying she needs more tests/to get to the bottom of it - sometimes there IS no bottom, or more to the point, the frequent migraines sometimes just are the bottom. Some people just get frequent migraines and there really is no specific reason or underlying disease/condition. It's just chronic migraine. There are things you can do to fight the symptoms.)
  • scmom12scmom12 Registered User Posts: 2,732 Senior Member
    Not sure I ever saw what her dream school is. If she is finishing 10th grade then I would focus on finding the right school. (No advice for the medical side, just practical). Try and set up some college visits where she can sit in on classes and get a feel for what is expected. Maybe talk to some professors/department heads of major interest. Check out actual classrooms. Can she combine a few intense classes with some big classes/online classes where attendance not so important?

    Ask about housing. Are there singles available for freshmen (or medical conditions and what does it take to get it) since once a migraine starts she may need an environment she can control - seems a single would be desirable.

    Even though she may have a dream school in mind, I would push her to look for a comfortable and accommodating environment as top consideration unless her desired major rules some places out. Stress may not be the cause of her migraines, but it can't help and having the correct environment will give her the best chance of success.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,627 Senior Member
    This is just my observation....

    Unless there's been some sort of official disability/accommodation registered, professors can be real jerks sometimes. Some can be accommodating with just a note, but many don't care.

    It's actually kind of unfair that someone with a registered accommodation will get "excused" for various things, but the student who ends up in the hospital with a broken arm may get F's for missing class or test.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 64,000 Senior Member
    As noted...it's NOT just about accommodations. It is very possible that the student could miss SO much class that understanding and mastering the content won't be possible.

    Consider that.
  • purpleacornpurpleacorn Registered User Posts: 1,559 Senior Member
    As she makes her way through high school, start having her take the lead (if she isn't already) on talking with her teachers and making up work. She should be the one asking teachers what content she missed and putting into place ways to make that up. If you're looking at colleges, even the nicest accommodation offices I know require the student to be doing the bulk of that work. Even if parents are supporting from the background, she'll be in conversations after class with a professor where she'll be asked what she needs and what she thinks is fair-- and she needs to be able to articulate that.

    I'd also reframe her own thoughts when she says things like "I hope I'll never get anything below an A- through college." Because that's not healthy, and is unlikely for most students-- let alone students with disabilities that mean they can't make it to class regularly. I know that a lot of the pressure is internalized and is coming from your children-- as a parent who has the long view, don't continue to condone it by saying nothing. Because there will be a class where she might be struggling, or there might be a class where a professor gives the absolute minimum (no punishment on attendance) but does not provide notes or help outside of class.

    In my upper-level classes-- humanities and math alike-- there was only one section of the course. Or if there were multiple sections, professors taught their own material at their own pace, so sitting in on another section would not have been possible. In my math classes, it would have been easy to get notes-- it was often the textbook-- but the experience of how a prof worked through the problem was why I went to class. In a humanities seminar, there's no way to make up that experience of being in a room with ten other people who have done the reading and discussing it. Even if attendance is not required, how is she going to communicate proactively with the prof and make it work?
  • sylvan8798sylvan8798 Registered User Posts: 6,045 Senior Member
    It's actually kind of unfair that someone with a registered accommodation will get "excused" for various things, but the student who ends up in the hospital with a broken arm may get F's for missing class or test.
    In my experience, accommodations for my students means things like taking tests in the DSS office and getting a quiet room or extra time. It has never meant "excusing" students from anything. Although in a course I was taking, the blind student was excused from having to write an essay describing the scene in a youtube video. He had to write an essay describing the music in a different video. I doubt any of the rest of the students managed to cough up with the word "unfair".
Sign In or Register to comment.