Basic Rights For Children With Diabetes
As we are now a few weeks into the new school year, I see that posts on social media about managing Type 1 Diabetes in school have increased.
Many children with Type 1 Diabetes still don’t have basic rights and support for diabetes management at school.
As a result, they are often left out of academics and activities, and parents bear the brunt – stuck in a constant state of negotiation and worry.
I’m very encouraged to see that more clinics and healthcare practitioners are talking about this, too.
In the past, it had felt like no one outside of a blog I launched 12 years ago and a few others were highlighting these issues.
Despite all of the newfound awareness, there is so much more to do.
What’s Missing in the Conversation About Managing Diabetes At School?
All the moving parts that come after signing the Diabetes Medical Management Plan (DMMP) and dropping it at the school have not yet entered the conversation.
Ensuring that infrastructure, education, emergency management, and empathy are in place in schools to support the rights of children with diabetes is critical.
Schools need to ensure that everyone is educated and things are organized with teachers, transportation services, activities and so much more.
As I write this, another mom messaged me for support in understanding her rights because a school is insisting that her young Type 1 child get a shadow teacher! The child needs insulin administered in the school’s health office, not academic support. She has a DMMP and notes from her child’s doctor, but those have been ignored.
Many Schools Are Getting It Right
Despite these challenges, there are many schools out there offering amazing support.
They have realized that supporting children with diabetes requires a tailored, multi-faceted approach that addresses all potential situations and challenges.
It’s not easy that no two people – or children – with diabetes are alike. This makes it so much more difficult for the school to support our children.
As parents, we do realize this, and we thank you. We know that it is complex, and not always pretty. It takes a village.
Our Work is Far from Done
As a community of healthcare professionals, advocates, healthcare providers, and educators, we need to keep pushing for more than just awareness.
This was on my mind since yesterday when one of the school nurses called me and said, “Your son is here. Everything is fine, but…”
Diabetes Emergencies At School
My son had hypoglycemia at school which required him to use glucagon. He managed it and did everything right. He is thankfully fine and recovering. He had the support of his health office.
I am very aware of how fortunate we (and every child in his school) are to have this kind of support.
But it always leaves me thoughtful about the parents and children who do not have support from their school or a health office.
What do they do?
What about that mom and her child who just reached out?
Who will be there for her emergency?
Who will call mom to tell her that her child is ok?
I always ask the question, what can we do to change this?
Need Help To Support Your Child With Diabetes At School?
Because I was not sure where to begin many years ago, I started writing about it.
If you are the parent of a child with any type of diabetes and need support in navigating the challenges at school, please reach out. I have many free resources that might support you as you navigate this tricky situation.
I’ve written over 20 articles on the topic of managing diabetes at school, over the last 13 years that my son has been living with diabetes. Just click on “newer” and “older” entries to find more.
You can also check out the free resource Five Essentials For Managing Type 1 Diabetes At School. In this guide you’ll find tips on:
- Educating the school nurse and class teacher
- Developing a diabetes medical management plan
- Knowing what highs and lows look like in your child
- Vital preparations for traveling to and from school
- Creating emergency snack boxes to keep at school.
Want help to manage your diabetes, thrive with good health and possibly change your life? Book your FREE 30-min health planning session with me now.
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