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Student Profiles: Medical Conditions

Definition: Students who have disabling organic conditions or who because of agility impairments have difficulty sitting, bending, handling objects (heart disease, allergies, epilepsy, arthritis, cancer, AIDS, back injuries).
Medical Conditions (Student "E"):

Student "E" has epilepsy; a disorder of the central nervous system. Temporary interruptions of electrical impulses occur within the brain and seizure results. "E's" seizures are controlled by medications, but occasionally, stress will facilitate seizure activity. "E" is registered in the Social Service Worker Program and will be attending full time. She has relocated from another community and does not have a Physician in this city.

Characteristics:

Relevant Accommodations:

Teaching Tips:

• increase in seizure activity due to stress

• medications are mostly effective

• side effect of poor and sporadic concentration

• requires regular Physician follow-up

• grand mal seizures result in lengthy sleep and residual fatigue

• environmental preparation; provide training support for teachers regarding epilepsy, seizures and how to best respond

• learn and implement strategies to eliminate or maintain stress at a minimal level; planning, time management, exercise, nutrition, peer support etc.• referral and follow-up with College Health Centre and Physician

• note-takers

• test proctor when needed

• counselling support as needed

• observe and respond to seizure activity by using proper techniques

• limit or eliminate environmental distractions

• allow consideration for alternative deadlines for assignments, tests etc. when a seizure has occurred and disrupted the student's ability to meet the dates

Medical Condition (Student "F"):

Student "F" had a lower back injury in the workplace 2 years ago and is currently sponsored by the Workplace Safety Injuries Board (WSIB). He is enrolled in the Graphic Design Program. Because of the rules of WSIB, "F" has registered as a full time student, but he is uncertain that he will be able to meet the physical demands of a full course load. He experiences chronic pain and has been prescribed Morphine, to be taken twice daily.

Characteristics:

Relevant Accommodations:

Teaching Tips:

• limited movement in lower back with low tolerance for prolonged sitting or standing

• chronic pain; problems with concentration, irritability, depression, and attendance

• fatigue

• environmental adaptations regarding seating; chairs, lab stools, tables etc.
• opportunities to change position frequently

• note-taker (possible)

• tutorial support

• flexible test schedule when needed

• referral to resource in pain management strategies and coping skills

• reduced course load

• apply reasonable flexibility for; position changes during class, absences, test writing schedules

• initiate a confidential discussion with the student regarding their needs to have reasonable alternatives

• provide support for adaptive supports required i.e. Special chair, tables, lab stools, etc.

• allow partner work when appropriate

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