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school policies for young child

Discussion in 'School and Daycare' started by Twyla, Jun 12, 2006.

  1. Twyla

    Twyla Approved members

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    Hi,

    My 5 year old, Gabriel, was diagnosed in April. We are now in the process of setting up a 504 for his entry into kindergarten next fall. We have meetings set up with our D team and the head of matters medical in his school system but I wonder if some of you would share your experiences? How does your school handle management of a young child? Where do they test, who is trained to test etc..? The information I have so far is the all testing and treating will be done by the school nurse. The teachers are simply instructed to administer sugar immediately if the child is 'acting funny'.

    I am uncomfortable with this for a variety of reasons but don't want to appear and overprotective mom from day 1. The school nurse is in a different building than the K classrooms--in the event of a servere hypoglycemic episode it seems someone nearby needs to take immediate action. The school doctor also didn't seem at all concerned that a teacher might give sugar to a child already running high--the policy is simply 'when in doubt, treat' which understand. But is it unreasonable to expect the person in charge of him for so many hours a day to differentiate needing the nurse to treat a high vs. giving sugar for a low?

    I could go on and on but I'll stop. I'm sure you get the gist of my concerns. If you're willing to share how things are handled in your schools I'd appreciate it. I'd also enjoy hearing any stories of successful advocacy--what issues were important enough to you to fight over and how did you do it?

    I realize we are new to this and I may be worrying too much. I'm willing to compromise so long as I feel like my little boy will be safe in school.

    thanks,

    Twyla
    husband Pablo type 1.5, Daniel 12 and non-D, Gabriel 5 and diagnosed in April
     
  2. AmyMcCracken

    AmyMcCracken Approved members

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    I know how you feel

    I know how nervous you are. My daughter was diagnosed 12/04 and started kindergarten in 9/05. Unfortunately where we live the school only has a nurse 1 day a week. I met with the school nurse, principal, secretary and teacher before school started. Luckily I knew the teacher from when I was in school. They were very helpful and supportive. Now that the school year is almost over I can't believe how well things worked out. My daughter started pumping in April and I can't recommend it enough. I understand you might be overwhelmed and not ready yet but I recommend looking into it when you can. It allows tremendous flexibility.

    This is how we handled things:
    My daughter tested herself in class - she had a backpack with her supplies including juice that she takes everywhere. (I recommend the AccuCheck MultiClix lancets - the needles are in a drum and are easily changed).

    I packed my daughters lunch and labeled the carbs on all the food. This way teacher could just add up the carbs. The teacher would write down the time and what my daughter had to eat and would send the list home.

    When on MDI my daughters lantus peaked around lunch so we had a scale of how many carbs she could eat based on her blood sugar. If she was high or was really hungry I would go to the school to give her shots. Now on the pump the teacher boluses my daughter.

    I was also lucky because my daughter recognizes when she's low. That has been very helpful.

    Good luck and hang in there.
     
  3. BrendaK

    BrendaK Neonatal Diabetes Registry

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    Carson just finished his first year of young 5's (a pre-K program in the public schools). I was SO nervous at first, but things went very well this year. I don't think we have even 1 school nurse in our county, so that was not an option! His classroom was right across the hall from the office which is where he would always get his blood sugar checked. They had a snack every day at 9:30am and each child was responsible to bring their own snack. That made it easy for me to count carbs! Carson would go to the office where they kept all of his supplies and the office staff would check his blood sugar. They called me almost every day at 9:30am to tell me what it was. If it was in a normal range, he could have his "regular" snack. If it was high, he could have peanuts or popcorn (which he very much enjoys). If it was low, we did a regular snack plus a couple of starbursts. On a normal day, he doesn't need insulin for a 15g snack at school, so we didn't have the staff administer any insulin. There were a few unexplained lows throughout the year and they always walked Carson to the office right away so that he could be checked. I attended every field trip with the class, except for the last one, and I communicated with the teacher over our cell phones when Carson needed to be checked. Carson only went 1/2 day, and next year in kindergarden will be the same. We'll have a whole new round of training when he starts 1st grade and eating lunch at school becomes a factor. The factor that made things so much easier was the schools willingness to call me with almost every blood sugar check. As we got toward the end of the year, both the school and I felt more comfortable and had less phone calls. Good luck!!!
     
  4. selketine

    selketine Approved members

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    Tywla,

    My diabetic son is 4 and doesn't start school for another year but I've been doing lots (and lots!) of research on 504 plans and the like. I don't have the time at the moment to write a detailed post but I will!

    When is your 504 meeting?
     
  5. Twyla

    Twyla Approved members

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    504

    Hi Carol,

    If you can share the results of any of your research I'd be very grateful. We have a meeting this Friday afternoon, but I don't suppose it will be the only one.

    Thanks!

    Twyla

    p.s. just saw the private message--I need to pay more attention!
     
  6. selketine

    selketine Approved members

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    Twyla,

    How did the meeting go? I'm sorry I forgot to follow-up as well!

    So what exactly is the plan (if you have one yet) for a suspected low? Are you talking about a low where he is conscious and just sort of acting odd or unconscious? I would think if he is unconscious or seizing that the teacher would call the nurse (or the nurse back-up - someone should be available at all times) to come immediately and give the glucagon. If he is acting odd could the teacher call the office and ask for the nurse to come to the classroom and test? The other option is have someone walk with your child to the nurse's office but if that is in a whole different building I would request that only an adult be allowed to do that - not another child. That is just too far to go.

    I suppose if the teacher is given info on signs of a low and she thinks he is having one and he is alert and able to swallow then perhaps giving a glucose tab and calling for the nurse to come ASAP is an ok thing. If it turns out that he is high he could always be given insulin for the correction plus the tab (tabs are just 4 or 5 carbs so not enough to really do damage). Or a few sips of juice while waiting for the nurse. I think if this got to be an issue you and the teacher and nurse would have to re-evaluate. I guess I would personally be o.k. with the teacher giving sugar before testing if my son was showing classic low symptoms. Of course you don't want her giving him candy anytime he looks funny.;)

    Now sometimes William will act "low" when he isn't. I don't think he is trying to act low - he just gets annoyed with something and he will close his eyes and lie down on the floor and won't answer me. I think he knows this gets attention ASAP!:rolleyes: It doesn't happen often with us and I'm used to his signs - of course a teacher wouldn't be. When he is really low he just looks spacey - glassy eyed - if anything. And quiet.

    If you want to PM me with more info (I assume you live in the USA) like where you live - the county and so forth I can look around for school info. Or you can look yourself - often school boards have policies on diabetic kids and treatment. Or sometimes it is a "guideline" - you may have to call the "School Health Service" or whatever is the equiv in your county to find out. Some states have state laws about diabetes in schools too.

    There are also lots of good documents on the ADA website I can point you to.

    Anyway, let me know how your meeting went!
     
  7. dbwalters

    dbwalters New Member

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    My son is just starting school on the 5th and we had our meeting today with the school nurse (who happens to be at the school one day a week) and his teacher. Both seem generally interested in helping in anyway but they refuse to do a bolus and the nurse said the law states that no-one can administer the Glucogon shot but her. So are we out of luck here??

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  8. Tamara Gamble

    Tamara Gamble Approved members

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    Hi Walters family, They can say that by state law the nurse is the only one who can give glucagon as long as she is there five days a week and never misses one single day as your son can't decide to not have diabetes because she is away. They have to offer a second means to get him what he needs. This is by law also. Federal law! You need to find out what their alternative plan is. They must by law have one!

    They cannot refuse to administer his insulin! I don't care what they say the state law says it does not nor can not go against what the federal goverment says, so someone is blowing smoke up your butt. They must accomidate his needs.

    I am utterly furious about this. Look, there is alot to this. You need to contact the ADA to get a package in regards to discrimination. You also need to get an advocate, ask them about this. They will direct you etc. It is not to late to change the 504 so don't panic. It can be changed whenever.

    Upon their refusal to administer insulin they were in violation of federal law and can loose all of their federal funding. ie shut down if they recieve any type of federal funding. Everything I have said is based on the assumption that your child is in a public school. Even if he is in a private one if they recieve any type of federal funding like free lunches they must comply with the law. If it is private and they recieve no funding, well, I'd enroll my child elsewhere.

    They may seem nice and helpful but they do know the law and they know that you don't. I don't think it's very nice that they would refuse to bolus or refuse to have anyone else administer glucagon because this would mean your child would die after eating one meal. Or possibly die if he had a severe hypo. I wouldn't call that nice at all.

    You need to go to the parents of children with type 1 diabetes board and go through the archives. Carol G and others have links there. There is a sample for the 504 and DMP on this site research it. It's all in accordance with federal law. There are state laws you must abide by but they don't supercede federal and there are alternative yeses to some of the no's.

    I believe in being diplomatic with the school as much as possible but get educated. Your childs life depends on it. If his well being is compromised in any way it is life threatening for a child with this disease.

    Good Luck! Tami
     

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