From Fishers, Indiana, USA:
My six year old son will be entering kindergarten in the fall, and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes seven months ago. He gets three injections per day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), and his blood glucose levels are still all over the place (418 mg/dl [23.2 mmol/L] at breakfast, 38 mg/dl [2.1 mmol/l] at lunch on the same day), despite frequent calls to the diabetes team, and almost as frequent changes in his insulin dosages. His lunchtime shot is based on his pre-lunch glucose reading and what he eats.
We are preparing to move to another city in a different state. During a week I recently spent in that area, I discovered some disturbing information. When I called the school district to ask what their policies are regarding the care of children with diabetes, I was told that the only people allowed to administer insulin are the school nurse, the parents of the child with diabetes, and the child him or herself. Not all the schools have a school nurse. In addition, the school will not monitor what and how much he eats, instead telling me that if he needs to be monitored that closely I should send a lunch with him to school every day. That would work if he would eat it all every day, not less and not more, but here at home, he's hiding food and eating without telling anyone unless he is watched during snack and meal times.
I'm beginning to think that the best option would be for me to home school him at least until we have a better handle on his blood glucose levels and/or until he's better able to take responsibility for eating his meals without eating extra food or hiding food to avoid eating it.
I'd love to hear anyone's opinions on this.
The school is required by law to make provisions for your child and his diabetes povided that you have a 504 plan and/or an IEP in place. See The Law, Schools, and Your Child with Diabetes, which reviews the laws that parents of children with diabetes need to understand to ensure that their children receive proper care and access to education while at school. Under the law, they must have someone at the school trained, in this case, to give insulin and check blood sugars. However, you may need to go to the school board and threaten them with loss of federal funding for their school system.
Home schooling is an alternative, but often a child with diabetes feels very much alone. Not allowing you son to attend school when his peers will be could be psychologically devastating. Having a child with diabetes in school is stressful for parents. It might be helpful to contact your new diabetes team to see how they have dealt with the schools in your new city.
Original posting 27 Sep 2000
Posted to Social Issues: School and Daycare
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