From Columbia, Maryland, USA:
My daughter was diagnosed with type 1 about 18 months ago. She turns five next month and I've begun planning for kindergarten. Currently, my daughter has three teams of caregivers - my husband and me, my parents, and two teachers at her daycare. Since her diagnosis, my daughter has been solely under the care of these six people. As I begin research into kindergarten, my concern is that two of the six caregivers will be out of her life and my parents, who currently live one mile away from daycare, will be farther away from my daughter's school. Currently, my parents are able to pick her up if she's not feeling well or if there are problems with her pump, CGM, etc. I'm concerned about all of the changes and whether they will impact negatively my daughter's A1c. If my daughter were allowed to attend kindergarten near my parents' house, they would be close to her during the school day in case of emergency and my daughter would be able to attend before school care at her current daycare. Are these concerns sufficient for me to request a boundary exception as a reasonable accomodation for my daughter?
The starting of kindergarten is an exciting and emotional time for all parents, but as you have noted, a parent of a child with diabetes has the added (very stressful) factor of diabetes care to consider. I would recommend discussing this question with your child's diabetes care provider(s) as they know your personal situation and factors that might be specific to your child. You might make a list of "pros and cons" of requesting the boundary exception, and learn as much as you can about the new school and available resources before making a decision. For some people, it is helpful to try to step back and answer this question as though a friend with a child with diabetes were asking you the same question.
Balancing your child's normal growth and development, along with safe diabetes care is a lifelong process, and gives parents and children new steps to work through along all the stages of childhood, adolescence and adulthood. My personal feeling from working with families of children with diabetes would be to see if you can make the "normal" situation work out for you and and your child, but if there is an overriding concern for safety and well-being, then to try to shift to a different plan. Keep your plan flexible, as when children mature and change, needs will also change. As mentioned above, I don't know your particular situation, and your child's specific diabetes needs, as would your diabetes clinician. Best wishes to you, and know that you know your child's situation the best and are in the best position to make the decision.
You might also wish to contact the American Diabetes Association (1-800-DIABETES, www.diabetes.org) should you need their assistance. They are the best resource for school issues. BH]
Original posting 31 Dec 2013
Posted to School and Daycare
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