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Schools and Working Moms

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by danielsmom, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. danielsmom

    danielsmom Approved members

    Jul 18, 2011
    So as newly diagnosed, we have not yet spoken to the school he will be attending this year and made the plans...I just got hired last March to sub(in special ed) for another school district..I don't get called everyday or I may depending on whats happening.. But some of the moms I have met already have told me they quit their jobs.. they were at school all the time during lunch...etc..available to get called at a moment's notice.. So I'm wondering what is the real picture here? Once your child was diagnosed, did you stop working? Or does it get to the point the child and school can handle what is going on? Please let me know..as this is one my newest concerns.. Thanks,

  2. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

    Nov 15, 2007
    Oh, geez. There are lots of working moms on this board. Many of us don't have a choice - we have to work. There's no reason you should have to go to the school every day or even that often because of diabetes. My son will be in 2nd grade this fall, and I think I've had to go to the school because of diabetes maybe twice in the two years he's been there.
  3. Amy C.

    Amy C. Approved members

    Oct 22, 2005
    Diabetes is perfectly managable by training the school personnel. Which state are you in? Most schools have a nurse or someone who deals with the medical needs of the students. At 10, your son can help out quite a bit.

    I wouldn't quit.
  4. danielsmom

    danielsmom Approved members

    Jul 18, 2011
    We live in southern california and belong to the downey unified school district. He had been attending private school, but this year will be his first year in public and we have no idea how things work there. My husband also works for this district. I guess we shall find out soon enough.
  5. Lynnieg123

    Lynnieg123 Approved members

    Mar 16, 2011
    My husband and I both work full time. I wish we could figure out how people manage on one salary but we can't. I will say I have a terrific boss who is understanding, and the school nurse was fantastic. Arden was dagnosed on 2/22/11 and we moved and she switched to a new school on 3/7/11. I never once had to go to the school at a moments notice. The nurse would call me, we'd discuss her BG if it was too high or too low and she verified how I wanted her to proceed and that was it. We had a couple of real low BGS in the low 30's and the nurse would give her glucose tabs and get her up then call me. We had a couple of 300-400s and we'd go over the dosage (even with a substitute nurse who really didn't understand how to treat T1 at all) and things went pretty smoothly. Hope I'm not jinxing myself for next year! The transition can be rough and I definitely took a few days off but I never thought of quitting.
  6. Mom264

    Mom264 Approved members

    Mar 17, 2009
    I don't know how old your child is, and that may impact much of what you do. I think a lot of this has to do with your personality and how you like to handle d-care, as well as the reality of what the school will do for you (and how much self-care your child is able to do.)

    I worked from home when my child was Dxd at age 3.

    When she was small I would go to school for the myriad parties, so that I could judge the food and bolus dd on the spot in class. It was very important to me that she not have to leave the class with a plate of food and walk to the nurses' office to get a carb estimate, then have the bolus overseen, and then walk back to class. If the nurses had been able to walk to her class and help her bolus there, or if the teacher or aide could have overseen it, I would not have gone in, but because they could not do so, I went in. (That is just my personal thing. And you will hear from other people who successfully navigate elementary food situations (and other situations) in their own way.)

    I also would go in to do a site change, which happened exactly twice in the six years of elementary school. (Again, my choice.)

    Other than that I did not routinely go in and I was certainly able to do my job.
  7. StacyMM

    StacyMM Approved members

    Oct 22, 2010
    I've always worked. Now, when she was 2 and first diagnosed I worked an alternate schedule for a few weeks while we figured things out and got the daycare trained, but it was short term and it worked in my field.

    She's in school now and DH and I are both about 30 minutes away from the school. She changes buildings this year and will actually be 20 minutes from DH, which will be the closest we've ever been able to arrange. In a true emergency, the nurse would transport with DD in ambulance and I would be in the hospital parking lot by the time they arrived. For smaller problems, 30 minutes is completely doable. Pulled site? They can give injections if needed and cover until I get there. Missing item? We keep duplicates of everything at the school so it hasn't been an issue yet.

    I have intermittent FMLA in place at work just in case I need to get 'leave early' covered but my position allows me enough flexibility to cover just about anything. It's a nice back up to have, though!
  8. Becky Stevens mom

    Becky Stevens mom Approved members

    Oct 14, 2008
    Hi Shirley, since your child will be going to public school you can write up a 504 plan with the schools help. Your child has the right to go to school and have their diabetes needs taken care of while there. Here is some info about 504s


    Call the school and ask to speak to the 504 coordinator. This may be the school psychologist or social worker. They can help you get the ball rolling
  9. momof2greatkids

    momof2greatkids Approved members

    Jan 4, 2011
    My daughter was diagnosed a month before turning 11. She missed two days of school (and I missed two days of work). I think the fact that she was going back to school, and didn't want the nurse giving her shots was a real motivator for her to give her own shots before we left the hospital!

    The day before going back, we met with the school nurse, and went over her carb ratios, injections, and testing. The nurse was awesome, but was a little worried about the shots since it had been years since she'd had a CWD who wasn't on a pump.

    We worked it out to where Audrey would go to the nurse's office a few minutes before lunch, test, and get her shot. She did tested and gave herself her shot, with the nurse confirming her blood sugar, and calculating how many units she would get. The nurse would email me with her blood sugars each afternoon, and call if there was anything out of the ordinary going on.

    Is your son planning to eat school lunches? If so, check to see if the district posts nutritional information on their website. This worked great for us. Each week, we would review the lunch menu, and Audrey would pick out what she wanted for lunch each day, and I would put it into a spreadsheet with the carbs provided by the district, and calculate out the units of insulin. I would send it to the school nurse and the secretary. If Audrey decided at the last minute that she wanted anything different, the nurse could calculate it, but for the most part, most of the work was done for her.

    Also, whenever there were school parties or treats, she would come to the classroom and see what Audrey was going to have, and then would use Calorie King to come up with an estimate for carbs so Audrey could get a shot to cover it.

    It may be to your benefit to be moving from private to public schools since you can definitely put a 504 plan in place.

    Probably the most important thing to make it work is to take a team approach with the school. From the beginning, the school nurse and I were allies.
  10. danielsmom

    danielsmom Approved members

    Jul 18, 2011
    I read this and I feel informed..I read this and I feel so scared.....
  11. Becky Stevens mom

    Becky Stevens mom Approved members

    Oct 14, 2008
    Shirley, just remember that the law is on your side, federal laws that have been set up to protect our children. Our children didnt ask to get type 1 diabetes so they dont deserve to be discriminated against in school. We're here to support you always:cwds:
  12. cm4kelly

    cm4kelly Approved members

    Apr 28, 2011
    My son - in school

    My 4 1/2 year old son (diagnosed 11/12/09) at 2 1/2 made the transition mid-year to a private school when my in-home babysitter decided to make a career change. I was a nervous wreck! But I met with the nurse, principal and teachers and everything turned out wonderful.

    I am a teacher (and we need my income) so I continue to work while my son is in school. His nurse will send me a text message if any blood checks or numbers are out of range. She knows what to do, and if I need to call, I will respond to her text.

    I have only had to go to school twice during the semester. Once his site came out (only done this three times in ONE YEAR) - the nurse always checks his sites - and once when his sugar levels were continuously high and not coming down.

    REcomendation for school lunches - pack everything - write each food, measurement and carbs on an index card and pack it with child's lunch. They take what is left of lunch and index card to nurse for correct carb count. That really helped me not worry about counting carbs at lunch.

    Everything will be fine - just be patient. The first few weeks are stressful. We want our kids to live normal lives as close as possible.
  13. tiger7lady

    tiger7lady Approved members

    Sep 14, 2010
    You most certainly can work and have a child with D. I was terrified in the beginning to send my kid to school and rely on the school nurse and teachers but you get more comfortable as you get into a routine. Here is how I handle it.

    The school has all the necessary supplies it needs. Every morning after I pack Vincent's lunch I email the nurse with the carb counts for everything I packed. He goes in a few minutes before lunch, checks his blood sugar, and then doses himself in front of the nurse. At the end of the day she emails me all his blood sugar numbers from that day. Unless he is extremely low or extremely high she doesn't call me but if there is something out of the ordinary I am always available via my cell phone. Our nurse is really good with carb counting as well so if there is a party or something with food there she goes to the classroom, figures out what Vincent is going to have, and they go from there. Since he started the pump they have informed me they will NOT do a site change but that's not a big deal because I'm only 20 minutes from the school. I keep an extra set at the school and if it were to ever come out I can hop in the car, put a new one in, and get back to work.
  14. emilyblake

    emilyblake Approved members

    Apr 18, 2009
    Our daughter is going into 2nd grade this year and was diagnosed when she was 3 and in day care. Both my husband and I work full time. We both work in NYC and I work many, many more than 40 hours a week.

    I leave before school opens and come home after it is out - but we have a great after care program (now my mom watches my girls).

    My job is extremely demanding, but they are reasonable and flexible enough so that if i have to leave b/c her pump comes off or something like that (happened maybe twice) it is not an issue.

    The school nurse is fantastic and communicates often with us.

    What helps us is to go into the school the day before school starts and meet with the teacher, nurse and principal (after calling in advance to discuss with the nurse). We bring back up supplies, discuss low signs, dexcom, omnipod, how to use the computers, stock her up with low blood sugar supplies etc.

    I also type up guidelines for when i want to be called (the nurse calls more often which i love), when she should be treated and how, and where sugar needs to be stashed. We print out information and documentation as well as an executive type of summary of the key points (e.g. treat low asap with fast acting sugar, call parents if pump comes off etc.)

    it does take some organization and ongoing communication, but it works great for us and Lila has a normal school experience - except for going down to the nurse 3 times a day (snack, lunch, bg check ).

    I do feel very lucky to have a fantastic school situation, but it definitely works - even though there is the diabetes overhead that never goes away.

    Best of luck!
  15. jules12

    jules12 Approved members

    May 26, 2007
    I work full-time. I think the hardest part for me is having to think ahead. I sit down and plan ahead when he is going to take his lunch vs school lunches. My son's school gives me the nutitional information for the entire month so I have him choose which meals sound good so I know ahead of time what to plan for.

    I also tend to leave more supplies and extra things than the non-working Mom's who can just "run up to school." I have supplies in his classroom, the nurses office, and in his backpack. I also pack a small emergency kit for each special room in case of lock down's etc.

    I do talk to them about field trips or field days and save my vacation for those so I am available. I also saved vacation for special days/parties but now he handles them himself.

    I don't know about anyone else - but it usually takes us about two weeks to get him into a routine with the right blood sugars, etc. You can do it....especially if you have a cooperative school person....just remember they will not always do things the way you would do them but the important thing is that your child is safe - the other things you can work out calmly and pick your battles.

    The trick is to plan ahead. Make sure you anticipate the school parties, the field trips, and communicate with the teacher and the nurse (if you have one). Don't wait for them or the last minute to ask about it. You will figure out the routine that works best for you!!! Don't be scared - you will do great!
  16. speakup4kids

    speakup4kids Approved members

    Nov 23, 2007
    Your biggest problem is really the state you live in unfortunately. I live in Cali too and honestly it is hit or miss with most districts.
  17. liasmommy2000

    liasmommy2000 Approved members

    Oct 31, 2006
    Of course you can work when your child has D.

    I have worked full time since before Lia was born. When she was diagnosed my dh's job was in danger and I was the one carrying our insurance and other benefits. Which were and are top notch. Quitting was NOT an option in any way. I took the whole first week off and back I went. And I'm an hour away too.

    I won't say it's always easy. We are in a district with no nurses in any building, not even part time. Lia also attends the before school care program through the school. I have made up pages and pages of guidelines, some of it step by step (seriously for the pump they wanted it written up button push by button push). We keep back up supplies of everything in the school office and in the child care room. The office staff is trained as are the child care staff and a couple of aides. I do take calls, early on I took them quite often. But eventually I had to say, can we do something and cut down on the calls. And they managed. I still get some but it's down from several or more a day to a couple a week or less. The most was ten in one day the first couple of years and now I can sometimes go a whole week without a call which is exciting lol. Very occasionally I have had to leave but usually it's not just D but illness that comes up (and of course effects D) and it's hard to tell at first. More often in the early days of pumping when we had trouble getting sites to stick. Skin Tac to the rescue. And after a while she learned to change her own site if necessary, set temp basals etc. With that kind of stuff they do still call me but I can usually talk her (or them) through it over the phone. I will say cell phones are a very, very wonderful thing.
  18. thefaircw

    thefaircw Approved members

    Jul 22, 2011
    Lucky Mama

    Well, I will be the first to say that I feel very fortunate to have an ideal work/school situation. My 5 year old son attends a Montessori school, and I am a teacher at the school. His teachers learned how to do his tests and shots right off the bat. There is a woman at the school who is an RN, and although she is not the "school nurse" (we don't have an official one), she oversees all things health-related (allergies, flu shots, lice checks :p, etc). Anyway, everyone has been super great with it.
    That said, when my son was diagnosed in 11/10, hubs and I put together a brief guide for the teachers, and made a log sheet for them to record his numbers. We also made little "tickets" for them to record his information and put in his lunchbox each day (to bring home for us to see).
    When he has a true low or a crazy high, they call me in my classroom to double check the protocol. It's such a relief to be right down the hall.
    For anyone struggling with schools, my heart goes out to you. I know how lucky we are to be in such a supportive environment. My advice is to make it as easy and streamlined as possible, and to make sure several people know how to provide care for your child, in the event of the teacher or nurse's absence.
    Good luck!
    Son dx with Celiac (10/10) and T1 (11/10)
  19. 2type1s

    2type1s Approved members

    Nov 23, 2008
    I have worked since the diagnosis of my first and second child! When Morgan was diagnosed 12 years ago, I was very fortunate that she was a peer model in the special needs classroom I worked as an occupational therapist in. I was right there. The 7 months later, she went to kindergarten 30 minutes away. It was rough. Back then, the nurse only visited the school once a week and looked over her blood sugar logs. The teacher and I managed her blood sugars through phone calls. Morgan could give her own shots, and we had a box of 5, 10, 15 and 20 gram snack to correct with. This worked for 2 years, then we got a REAL nurse who made things much easier. For Zoe, she was in 3rd grade at diagnosis, so she was older. Her nurse then, was a God send. She texted or called me with every question, and helped Zoe transition back into school 2 days after diagnosis. She has moved up to the middle school with Zoe, and the High school nurse is the REAL nurse Morgan had in elementary school. Teachers have, for the most part, been very supportive. Sometimes have had a few problems with substitues, but now each girl has a cell phone and it is written into their 504 that that can call me anytime for diabetes related care. Morgan doesn't even go to the nurse anymore...she is independent. She only goes it she feels bad, or needs to change out a site or her pump! You can work, and your child will be fine. If it makes you feel better...get a cell phone! My kids usually just text me if they need me.
  20. Kaylas mom

    Kaylas mom Approved members

    Apr 14, 2010
    I work in the school of my only non D kid. I have only had to leave once to go up to Kayla's school and that was only because she was totally out of test strips. Apparently Kayla would go to school and not realize she had one strip left and then just take the whole bottle from the nurse, not like 1 or even 5 strips to make it thru the day and before we knew it she had gone through the entire 100 strips I sent up there for backups.. Luckily it was on a teacher plan day.

    I did cut my hours back this year, not really because I had to but because I hate taking days off and with three medically complex kids, it was getting a little out of control.

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