From Lubbock, Texas, USA:
My son is 13 years old and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 3 years ago. He attends a private school. This last fall he was to go on a trip that would last 5 days and 4 nights. I was told that I couldn't go with the class, but the school finally gave me permission. Our son needs help with food selections. None of the teachers going had medical training and my son had been ill, causing high blood sugars. Recently, extra-curricular trips have been offered, but it is obvious that I am not invited. Very few of these teachers and parents have any knowledge of diabetes and they think I am being unreasonable. My son is learning more about making food selections when traveling but he is not ready for vigorous activity without someone to be sure he stays healthy. What are your suggestions? I have considered putting him in public school where guidelines have to be followed.
It sounds like you need to meet with your son's doctor, nurse, and or dietitian to work out plans for school trips. Most 13 year olds should be able to at least go on day trips and 1 night trip without their parents to supervise. Whether he is alone away from home on a school trip, or with friends down the block, he needs to learn to manage his own food with exercise. This might be a good excuse to get him more interested in learning how to care for himself. Perhaps you could make appointments to see your child's doctor before planned trips to work out a plan. If he is unable to care for himself away from home, it might also be time to see a psychologist or family therapist. I don't know whether public schools are obligated to provide nurses for extracurricular activities.
Original posting 14 May 2000
Posted to Social Issues: School and Daycare
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