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Narcolepsy is a lifelong condition of excessive daytime sleepiness and compulsive urges to sleep. Many adults with narcolepsy recall the onset of their symptoms during childhood. A child with narcolepsy may suddenly fall asleep several times during the day or have excessive unrelenting sleepiness. Children with narcolepsy may be perceived as lazy, resulting in problems with their self-esteem.
Symptoms of narcolepsy include:
Narcolepsy can affect a child’s quality of life. It impairs or limits school performance, job choices and free-time activities. Children may also experience behavior and personality changes. Young children may show inattentiveness, emotional instability and hyperactive behavior. Narcolepsy can also affect activities of daily living such as driving or operating machinery and could impact career choices for your child.
If your child shows symptoms of narcolepsy, a pediatric sleep medicine specialist will make a detailed evaluation using the following tools and tests:
Although narcolepsy has no cure, its symptoms may be treated with:
Visit the trusted websites below to learn more about narcolepsy.
Riley at IU Health offers a broad range of supportive services to make life better for families who choose us for their children's care.
Narcolepsy Network is a nonprofit organization with a mission to educate and inform the public about narcolepsy, provide support for patients and their families and increase public awareness of the condition. The organization's website includes frequently asked questions about narcolepsy, support groups and free educational materials.