Asperger Syndrome is a diagnosis that is getting more attention and the number of students with Asperger Syndrome is growing. Understanding Asperger Syndrome: A Professorís Guide is a great resource for understanding how you can help these students.
The student with epilepsy may have little problem in the classroom. In most cases, seizures will be controlled by medication. Some students with epilepsy will have learned to manage seizure activity through adequate rest, proper diet, and regular medication. Most will be able to participate in sports and lead active, normal lives. There are some whose seizure activity simply cannot be controlled. For more information on first aid for a person who has seizures, download our handout Responding to Seizures.
Conditions that may result in marked fluctuations of behavior and performance (in addition to the ones discussed on this page) are Muscular Dystrophy and certain kidney problems that may necessitate dialysis.
Some of the conditions described on this page require medication for control of symptoms. If an instructor has valid educational questions about the potential effect of various medications on the student's performance, the student, if willing, can probably provide some information. The instructor should not hesitate to discuss such issues tactfully with the student. A student health services physician or the Director of DSS may be able to provide relevant information.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) may affect the student in a multitude of ways. Because MS most often occurs between the ages of 20 and 40, the college student with MS is apt to be in the process of adjusting to the new disability. Depending on the degree to which the MS has progressed, the student's mobility, speech, vision, and emotional state may be affected. One of the most difficult aspects of MS is that the symptoms have a tendency to come and go, but they continue to progress. Periods of remission may last from a few days to months in the early stages. During an exacerbation, the student may appear as if intoxicated - slurred speech, staggering, unfocused eyes. Understanding the fluctuations that may occur in the student's behavior make it easier to understand variations in classroom performance.
There are many disabilities that largely affect mobility, such as cardiac conditions, arthritis, chronic back pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, active sickle cell anemia, diabetes, and respiratory disorders.
Spina Bifida (open spine) may cause a range of disabilities varying from no noticeable effects to hydrocephalus and paralysis. The student with spina bifida may have short stature and may use a wheelchair, braces or crutches. Classroom modifications that may be required will depend on the student's functional limitations. Most adaptations that are required have been discussed in earlier sections.
Students of Short Stature may have in-classroom access problems unique to their stature.