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Denying access to insulin

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Deal, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Deal

    Deal Approved members

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    If a school administrator denied someone access to their insulin could that be considered assault?

    Sadly I am dealing with this reality.
     
  2. shannong

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    Hi Deal, I noticed you are from Ontario too. Any more details on what occurred? Denying a child access to a life-sustaining medical necessity? It is wrong on all kinds of levels. I don't believe a child with diabetes should ever be prevented nor do they even need a school's permission to access any and all supplies that they need ie. blood testing meters, insulin, snacks, etc. I'm sorry to hear you are dealing with this.
     
  3. Deal

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    The principal is upset that he sometimes takes his insulin pen to school in his knapsack and self-administers as per my instructions. She would like him to drop the pen off in the office everyday and then go to the office when required, then pickup the pen at the end of the day. I like that when the bell rings at the end of the day he can pack up and leave out the same door as his classmates and not have to detour to the office.

    So instead of calling me into the school to discuss she decided that she would take the pen away if she found it in his knapsack. She called me and said that the only way he would get insulin is if I came to the school to give it to him. He no longer had permission to self administer.

    Needless to say I have an appointment request into the superintendent. I am interested in your statement about not requiring the schools permission. It seems like that is part of the issue here.
     
  4. Lisa - Aidan's mom

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    Can your endo send a note to the school saying he is allowed to self administer?
    I had to do that for camp last year.

    Good luck, sorry for the aggravation.
     
  5. Deal

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    I could do that but I don't feel I should have to. There is no assurance that would help the situation either.

    Nobody should be able to put up barriers between a child and his right to life supporting necessities. I don't care where he goes, he should be allowed to have his insulin with him at all times. I understand requiring a note from the endo to facilitate airplane travel with medication. I do not expect to be asked for that level of certification from a school, library, public building, restaurant, recreation center, etc.

    I feel it is almost a parallel to the situation sometimes nursing mothers are put into by ignorant establishments. A place of education should not be allowed to implement such policies.

    Now if I wanted to authorize or get assistance from the school to help with administrating insulin I would fully understand their requirement for doctors authorizations as well as a limited liability agreement.
     
  6. Nancy in VA

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    I know things are different in Canada than the US and in the US we have some protections in the 504, but separate from insulin, my kids aren't allowed to carry Tylenol, Advil, even cough drops - anything that could be construed as medicine. So, for a school to say a child can't carry their insulin isn't completely out of the realm of normal. And, again, not knowing how things work in Canada different than the US, if you don't have a legal document that says your child can carry and self-manage his disease, there may be school policies that allow him to confiscate any medication that your child carries. I know, for us, that outside of an insulin pump, kids in elementary school don't carry their insulin. They can't even take it to school the first day of the year to give it to the nurse - the parent has to take it to school and give it to the nurse, and pick up any extra medication at the end of the year - it can't be sent home with the child. So an administrator confiscating insulin, regardless of how he did it and with what emotions, isn't completely unusual.
     
  7. Beach bum

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    In order for my daughter to be able to have her insulin on her, in her insulin pump, a note from the endo is required. It's an order to administer insulin.

    Does he do all his diabetes management?
     
  8. Deal

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    He does at school with guidance as required from me via phone. There are no nurses in our schools and nobody working there is allowed to administer insulin or glucogon. They can with proper paperwork in place administer an epipen thanks to a recent law put in place after a child died.

    They will not oversee meal completion, nor accept training for their hired supervisors to even recognize lows. So basically no official support at all in school for diabetes. For this reason he typically comes home for lunch. There are rare occasions where neither my wife or I are available for lunch. On those occasions we send him in with lunch and expect a phone call after he tests so we can determine an appropriate dose for him to self administer.

    D sucks, care for D in Ontario schools sucks too.
     
  9. liasmommy2000

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    I don't know about Canada, but here in the U.S. I'm pretty sure you would be hard pressed to find a school that allowed a child to carry medication and self administer WITHOUT a note from the endo and paperwork for each medication filled out and signed by the parent. My dd is in middle school and she self administers and carries her insulin pump (and ashtma inhaler) but has a note from the endo and asthma doctor and I've filled out forms for each medication and the school has them on file. We also have no nurses, though I have trained staff on glucagon.

    In elementary school where there were also no nurses, but staff was trained on all aspects of D care, she started out with them administering insulin (syringe, then pump) but eventually we transitioned to her doing it with them watching. She also carried all her supplies and the trained aide came to HER in the class room. Again had to have the endo's note to self administer and paperwork signed by me on file for each medication. Pretty standard from what I understand.
     
  10. C6H12O6

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    The only legal recourse you would really have is the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and possibly the office of the ombudsman for Ontario. It is possibly a privacy issue ? so you could discuss it with the office of the privacy commissioner.

    The fact that diabetes care is not offered in school has never been taken to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, because schools tend to accommodate before it escalates to this level.

    I think I saw a story about a BC family taking the issue to the BC human rights commission.

    your issue is discriminatory toward kids who use injections, because kids on pumps can administer insulin without anyone questioning it. If she took away the pump, I think that would boarder on assault because a child should never willingly hand over their pump.

    - in her defense it sounds like she is opening up the door to the school taking on the responsibility of his diabetes care, or a nurse paid for by CCAC. Some school boards have a diabetes policy that says a nurse from CCAC has to come care for the child, but I think that is only if they need the care.

    Does you son go to a Catholic Board School or a Public Board School or a French school ?
     
  11. Beach bum

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    All I can say is...WOW. I'm amazed that Canada is not up to speed on rights of CWD.

    It's tricky. Here, no medication is allowed to be carried by kids at all, except for insulin but only with medical orders. Also, there is the whole thing with sharps.
    I know it sucks, and the way the principal handled it stinks, but being that he is carrying medication around, it's a tricky situation. In the US, it would be covered by medical orders and a 504, but I know in the lower grades the school would give parents a hard time if their kid is carrying insulin and needles or pen around, even with a 504.

    What if you talked to the school and offered to have the doctor write some orders. I know you don't want to or feel you need to, but it might help if you worked with them... Maybe if you are willing to work with them, they might be willing to work with you...
     
  12. C6H12O6

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    It is surprising some of the responses parents get when they ask for help for their D kids. The problem is that parents who can effectively advocate for their kids eventually get the help they need.

    Kids whose parents don?t have the same advocacy skills fall through the cracks and are sent to school with NPH and R on board and no testing takes place all day.

    That is are health care system works in a lot of ways too, people who can advocate for themselves get better care and access to better treatment.
    Even though we have a publicly funded health system income and socioeconomic status is one of the biggest predictors of health.
     
  13. Deal

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    I spoke with the school's superintendent today. My letter included a few other cases of incompetence demonstrated by the principal. I'll have some further correspondence with him as he unravels what is going on at the school. In the meantime he assures me ds will be permitted to take his insulin in an environment where he is comfortable and able to do so without delay and upon demand.

    This means I will continue to manage things the way I have all along and send his pen with him in his knapsack when required. I think it helped that he has multiple close people to him that have type 1 so he was very understanding of my attempt to create an environment as close to 'normal' as possible within the constructs of a school environment that offers very little assistance.
     
  14. shannong

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    My DS goes to a private school, where I was having issues with him having to ask to do a blood test when he felt low, and they sometimes told him to wait until they could supervise him. I advocated for my DS to test whenever he felt he needed to and that he did not have to ask permission, but that he can inform them that he is doing this. When he does injections at school, he does so under the supervision of his teacher (he administers the injection and I tell him the dose, usually written on a note ahead of time in his lunch bag, or if needed by phone). Basically the teacher just watches him and double checks that he did dial in the right dose on the pen. He keeps his insulin in his backpack in his classroom and does his injections in the class room.

    I think in a public school that carrying an insulin pen should follow the same procedures as carrying an epi-pen. A child with a severe allergy is certainly permitted to have their epi-pen on them (thanks to Sabrina's Law). While we have no such law to cover children with diabetes, I think we need to advocate for the same rights. I would assume that in order to carry an epi-pen, you need to fill out a medical form, possibly with a note from a doctor. I would look up the Peel District School Board's Policy regarding medication, fill out the medication form and bring it to your meeting with school administration.

    Since there is no support at schools in Ontario to manage diabetes, there really is no choice other than for your child to self-administer. I don't see why he could not keep his insulin in his backpack. I have heard that many schools in Ontario want the child doing an injection to do so in a specific place, often in the admin. office. Some schools have even required that children do all their blood checks in the school office. I heard from one parent whose child was on the pump that they wanted her to go to the office to bolus ie. just to push a button! I have also heard of parents who have successfully advocated for their child to do everything within the classroom. Good luck advocating for your child.
     
  15. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    I've always viewed my kid's school D stuff as a bit of a partnership. We agree to certain things, i.e., she will be responsible, I'll provide all medical orders, they will not interfere with her management and we'll try to treat each other like human beings. Refusing to provide Drs orders strikes me as unwise. School isn't a restaurant or a park, it's a place where other kids have rights and some might argue that permitting a student to carry a drug like insulin without any Drs orders is reckless. While I think your school support is dreadful, I don't think that refusing to build an above board structure for D care, including Drs orders is the smart way to go.
     
  16. Mimi

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    I feel terrible for parents and their cwd in Ontario that have to go through crap like this.

    Both my daughters have carried/ do carry insulin with them in school. Amanda carried her supplies around with her immediately upon returning to school after dx (age 7). She didn't start carrying her insulin & injecting until she was in 4th grade. At the beginning of the school year she chose to go the office and inject there. By the end of the year she was injecting in the classroom.

    Chloe (dx Dec 2012) carries her insulin/supplies with her. She has also chosen to go to the office to inject. I have to say that the teachers and administrators have been very helpful and accommodating.

    Each individual school is run by the principal and how they choose to accommodate (or not) is at their discretion as long as they are within their school board's health policy, assuming diabetes is even included.

    Did you make the school/principal aware that there would be days when your son was administering his own insulin? If not this may be part of the reason the principal reacted as he did. I make the school aware whenever one of my dds will be changing the way she self-manages. Maybe if the school agrees, you can give them a heads up on days he will be injecting? I'm hoping if they feel more "in the loop" they may more accommodating.

    Btw, how old is your son?
     
  17. Christopher

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    No, this is not an assault. Calling it an assault is blowing it way out of proportion.
     
  18. Jeff

    Jeff Founder, CWD

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    I reached out to Barb Wagstaff (http://diabetesadvocacy.com/about_us.htm), who has considerable experience with diabetes advocacy in Canada. She said that this was not permitted and would get back to me with more details later today.
     
  19. Connie(BC)Type 1

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    Next step would be the Media IMHO
     
  20. diabetesgoddess

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    Wow. This simply stuns me. You are doing EXACTLY what all boards and most educators want to see...moving towards self care. She should have contacted you. She may have asked to have CCAC come in to oversee the injections but she had no right to suggest that you have to come in to inject your child when you feel that your child is able to be independent. Again, the goal in diabetes care is to promote independence.

    I am glad that you were able to get a few things straightened out. I think how far you want to take this is completely up to you. The administrator clearly erred. She did not provide a safe place that was comfortable for your child to inject. And again, it is not her call to state that your child is too young to self-administer his insulin.

    I am glad that things have been rectified. I contacted a friend who is a bit more aware of what would constitute and assault or violation. While she felt that this would not be deemed as assault but still felt that it was incredibly stupid on the part of the principal.

    I hope things are fixed to the satisfaction of you and your son and congratulations to him for being so independent already!

    Barb (mom to Liam 15 yr dx 3/00 and Brandon 19yr)
     

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