Malcolm is a Bachelor of Arts student in sociology. He has tonic-clonic seizures mostly, but not always, at night.
Malcolm attends an early morning seminar that you teach. He is frequently late or absent. He has asked for an extension on a paper due shortly, saying that he has several papers due in one week.
What would you do?
Refuse his request for an extension; you have refused several other students who have asked for extensions. You already reserve him a seat in the classroom to reduce the chance of an injury if he has a seizure. This doesn’t have anything to do with his epilepsy, and he shouldn’t be treated differently.
Solution: It’s important to treat students fairly, but not every accommodation for epilepsy is about preparing for possibility of a seizure in the classroom.
Solution: The extension is helpful for Malcolm. One of his triggers for seizures is lack of sleep, and having so many papers due so close together is a recipe for a seizure. Modified course loads can be helpful, but should also be dealt with to ensure academic success and maintain the student’s self-esteem.
Solution: This could help Malcolm a lot. The extra time for the paper will help reduce the risk of a seizure and switching from the morning class, which he has trouble getting to on time due to his seizures interfering with his sleep, will help improve his attendance.