I am wondering if any team has had a driver with epilepsy? One of our potential drivers suffers from this condition. He is going to see his doctor to get an expert opinion, although I am unsure whether or not the doctor will completely understand the circumstances (it’s tough to explain how high energy a FIRST competition gets). The student has put a lot of time in and deserves the opportunity to drive the robot, but I definitely do not want to sacrifice his health in any way. I hope that teams past experience can help us make this tough decision.
I encourage him to try and drive, but please, for the student’s sake (and possibly others around him), let FIRST know that he has a medical condition that could require the match to be stopped. Also see if it would be possible to have at least a First Responder, or even better an EMT, by the field, just in case.
FIRST is usually pretty good about team members with medical conditions, but make sure to clear it with them so they know what to do if your driver has a problem halfway through a match.
Along with many other conditions, I have Epilepsy. It was not until my senior year, and the last several competitions that I drove in that my seizures became noticeable. The attmosphere of the FIRST competition could be difficult for any individual depending on how active their Epilepsy is, how well under control their condition is, or what type of seizures they “take”. They are many, many different forms and “triggers” for seizures that fall under the disease of Epilepsy. Something as simple as the high stress situations of competition, to the heat or chill of a venue, or the flashing lights on the field or robots could cause an individual to be “triggered” all depending on once again, the type of seizures, how well under control they are, and how active the disease is.
A suggestion from a mentor viewpoint, I would not want to discourage the student in any way at all. If you have any student who has an amazing talent to drive, they should have the fair chance that everyone else has. They may have to have a buddy - maybe just their driving partner, that makes sure they eat at the proper times, GETS PLENTY OF SLEEP AT NIGHT, and enjoys themselves to the fullest, but doesn’t get stressed out. I would say the student should be given strong support in as many areas possible with scouting, strategy, and alliance selections to not add unneeded stress.
If at any time any one from your team would want to talk to me more about handling competitions, or the atmosphere, feel free to PM me or IM. I’d be more than happy to talk to the student to if they would like any support.