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NASN Sch Nurse. 2014 Mar;29(2):99-101.

Narcolepsy goes to school: the three Rs for school nurses.


The sleep disorder narcolepsy most often first appears in the teen years. It can dash the dreams of optimistic, intelligent students. It can make some students the target of nasty jokes and bullying, leaving them depressed and socially isolated. It can challenge children's self-esteem, and lowered self-esteem may last a lifetime. Typically, children with narcolepsy gain weight and have no interest in participating in anything. Many constantly feel extreme tiredness, and they may experience cataplexy. School nurses and teachers can help if they know the symptoms and practice the 3 Rs of narcolepsy: Recognize the symptoms of narcolepsy; Respect that narcolepsy is a lifelong, serious sleep disorder that needs treatment; and Refer students who exhibit symptoms to medical professionals. The 3 Rs will help students living with this lifelong disorder to get a fair shake in life's academic, social, and career arenas.

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