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 disease. 


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.  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. 



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