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Definition of Probable Narcolepsy Parent text School age

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Parent Handouts and Info - Parent


Definition/criteria for Probable Narcolepsy


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School Age (6-12)

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Probable Narcolepsy

Probable Narcolepsy

You said that you were concerned about your child's sleep problems. You said that your child falls asleep during the day. You also said that this has been happening every day for at least the past 3 months. You said your child falls asleep all of a sudden. S/he may say that this short period of sleep helps him/her feel less tired.

You also said that your child has some of the following problems:

  • Short periods where s/he loses control of his/her muscles. This happens when s/he is upset.
  • S/he thinks s/he sees things that are not real. This happens just before s/he falls asleep or just as s/he wakes up.
  • Trouble moving parts of his/her body when falling asleep or waking up.

Some children with these problems have Narcolepsy. Your doctor will do some more tests to see if this why your child is having sleep problems.

Narcolepsy is not a common problem, even for adults. Not much is known about how often it happens in children. It runs in families. If someone else in the family has the same sleep problems you should tell your doctor so that they can get help, too.

Adapted in part from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) (1994) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Primary Care (DSM-PC) (1996).

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