Parents must educate themselves about narcolepsy and its effects on children. Parents must also inform family members and close friends of their child’s condition. Children with narcolepsy often exhibit symptoms that are mistaken for learning disabilities or hyperactivity.
This can lead to negative perceptions and reduced self-esteem for the child. This article will provide parents with information on how to best educate their children about narcolepsy.
Parents may be concerned that their child is too tired to complete their daily tasks, or they may mistake excessive daytime sleepiness for laziness. While this may be the case, children with narcolepsy may also experience cataplexy or a sudden, uncontrollable loss of consciousness.
To ensure your child is not in danger, educate yourself, friends, and teachers about narcolepsy and the symptoms. Small changes to the classroom environment and schedule can go a long way toward helping your child get the education they deserve.
If your child does not fall asleep on their own, seek the assistance of a physician. During an overnight polysomnogram, continuous measurements of your child’s heart rate, oxygen levels, physical movements, brain waves, and breathing patterns are taken. During this test, your child may have difficulty falling asleep and entering REM sleep. If you suspect your child of having narcolepsy, your child will need regular sleep studies to ensure proper health.
Sudden weight gain
Parents of children with narcolepsy should be vigilant to watch for any signs of narcolepsy. The condition affects both children and adults and requires early diagnosis to prevent complications. It is essential for parents to understand the condition and educate family members, teachers and doctors. A child’s behavior and mood can be misinterpreted as hyperactivity or a learning disability, resulting in the child missing school or work. Parents must also educate friends and teachers about narcolepsy and the condition. Even a small adjustment in the classroom can make a world of difference in a child’s self-esteem and ability to gain a good education.
Children with narcolepsy have a higher risk for obesity, which can impact their sleep and lead to increased school absenteeism. Obesity is common among those with narcolepsy and is associated with an increased risk for car accidents and cuts and burns. Obesity may be an additional risk, as is the increased risk of a sleep disorder. A low metabolism may also be a contributing factor to weight gain.
Unplanned sleep attacks
Fortunately, there are treatment options for unplanned sleep attacks in narcolepsies. Medications that affect sleep patterns are available to control the symptoms and reduce the frequency of unplanned sleep attacks. Parents can practice good sleep hygiene to avoid triggering situations. While narcoleptics feel refreshed after waking, the attacks can be a significant distraction for both parents and children. Most doctors recommend the medicines to treat unplanned sleep attacks.
In the early stages of narcolepsy, hypnagogic hallucinations and other symptoms can be misdiagnosed. Children’s fears of sleep can be mistaken for night terrors or difficult behavior. Some children may experience daytime sleepiness without presenting symptoms of a psychiatric problem. Parents should educate their children’s teachers and other school staff about narcolepsy. Even small changes in the classroom can make a significant impact on their self-esteem and ability to obtain a quality education.
In many cases, the lack of diagnosis results in incorrect treatment and referral to an inappropriate medical service. Parents may feel helpless and depressed when the disorder is suspected. They may deny it, and this can lead to inappropriate reactions, including restrictions on their activities and education. Unfortunately, the lack of support from medical professionals may make matters worse, but the rise of awareness about the disorder is necessary to help families cope with the disease.
Treatment options for narcolepsy are many. The most common are medications and lifestyle changes. For a child with this disorder, a doctor may prescribe a stimulant to keep them awake during the day. Antidepressants can also be used to treat the disorder’s other side effects, such as hallucinations and sleep paralysis. If the symptoms persist for more than a month, talking with a primary care physician is crucial.
Other considerations include the severity of the condition, the availability of medications, and social support for narcoleptic parents. Some participants wish to improve access to affordable, customized treatment options. Some also want to improve workplace acceptance. Still, others want the best possible treatments for their children.
In addition, the panel discussed broader issues related to diagnosis, treatment, and support. The research has revealed that many parents are seeking the help of professionals to address narcolepsy.