Multiple Sclerosis in
young people is often accompanied by cognitive deficits, particularly in
Attention, planning, and problem solving;
Speed and efficiency of thinking;
Visual spatial and constructive skills; and
Learning and recall of new information.
Additionally, two primary
symptoms of MS are fatigue and trouble walking, so that simply getting from one
classroom location to another can be very problematic for a student with the
Finally, it is completely
understandable for a young person with MS to struggle with experience emotional
problems like anxiety, depression and anger.
These problems can be very
challenging in upper elementary, middle school, and high school, where academic
success depends on staying energetic and “upbeat”, learning and integrating a
great deal of new information on a daily basis, and moving quickly from one
classroom to another to participate fully in school.
Typical necessary accommodations
and supports for these youngsters often include
Repetition of instruction / questions;
Extra time for quizzes and tests, including nationally standardized measures
such as the SAT;
Testing in a quiet location;
In more severe situations, memory aids, and
Test modifications should address
the problem of fatigue and would include breaking tests into smaller
sections that can be completed over time with rest periods built in;
Access to the teacher’s notes or outlines, or to the notes and outlines of a
successful fellow student;
Resource and/or extra study hall support;
Extra time to get from class to class, sometimes with a student “buddy” or
paraprofessional to help with mobility.
Support, both formal and informal, from
guidance counselors, teachers, and other staff.