From Rochester, Minnesota, USA:
My 12 year old son has had diabetes for two and one-half years. He started middle school this year which is very demanding. He is a frequent blood sugar tester (six to nine times a day). He gets sleepy, lethargic, and seems unable to concentrate. His blood sugars can be very high (250-300 mg/dl [11.1-16.7 mmol/L) or low (40-60 mg/dl [2.2-3.3 mmol/L]) due to exercise, stress, etc. He constantly forgets homework, projects, seems upset by it but nothing we try changes it. I know that diabetes does not cause a child to become less intellectual, but isn't it true that the demands of school, his diabetes routine, and the side affects of high/low blood sugars can adversely affect school performance? I would love to hear from other parents who have dealt with the same problem -- I have found the schools to be unsympathetic.
I sympathise with the problem which is common. However, I cannot offer specific advice. Your diabetes team should be aware of your son's blood sugar profiles and his diabetes regimen and should be in the best position to make things better.
Unfortunately, your experience with the school is not unusual although attitudes are often tempered by ignorance of the problems. The other possibility that you must consider is that your son uses his diabetes as an excuse at school -- this too is common.
Original posting 28 Aug 2000
Posted to Social Issues: School and Daycare
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