- advertisement -

A new student with D1

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Hope2Learn, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. Hope2Learn

    Hope2Learn New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    My principal called today to tell me I will be getting a new kindergarten student when we return from break in 3 days. The student has Type 1 Diabetes so he told me to learn all I can before Mon. In my 15 years of teaching I've never had a diabetic student so I have spent hours today reading random internet sites trying to learn all I could so I would be prepared for the new student. It is all so overwhelming but when I found your forum I knew that parents would be my best resource in what would be most important for me to know rather than trying to decipher a lot of confusing medical jargon. All I know about the child so far is that she has been diagnosed for about a year, checks her levels at least 4 times while at school, will get an insulin shot before lunch (administered by a school nurse that will travel to our school just for the injection but otherwise is not there), brings her lunch to school rather than buying a school lunch, and will have snacks/juice to keep in classroom for low levels. I'm ok with the testing part and maintaining the log for her of numbers and that part of it - I think. I guess more than anything I'm scared about if there's something I should know that I haven't read about or may not have thought about. I want all of my students to have an amazing kindergarten experience and build a love of learning and school and want to do my best to help ensure all goes well for my new student. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Best wishes to all!
     
  2. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    12,521
    The best thing you can do is look to the parents to understand how they want their child's D managed while at school and help them arrange for a 504 meeting with the appropriate staff.

    My daughter was dx'd at 4 and has had some wonderful and supportive teachers and I commend your proactive approach. :cwds:
     
  3. Becky Stevens mom

    Becky Stevens mom Approved members

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,719
    Hello, I have a couple questions for you: Are you in the USA? Is this a public school that you work in? There are federal laws governing a childs care in the United states in public/federally funded schools.

    Will a parent be able to accompany the child to school for a meeting on Monday to work with you on training. Pardon my saying so but I think the principal is an idiot for telling you that you have to learn all about type 1 diabetes and diabetes care in a short time. You should be allowed a few training sessions with the nurse and or parent to learn about blood testing, recognising low and high blood sugars and what to do about them.

    Here is some basic info to read over. Then when you answer my questions we can be of more help.

    http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/d_0q_420.htm

    http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/d_0q_200.htm
     
  4. Amy C.

    Amy C. Approved members

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    5,560
    The parent will always be the expert on the child's diabetes. There is no way you will have to deal with all the aspects of diabetes. I can understand how you would overwhelmed. There is not one parent whose brain was fried with all the information. Fortunately, you will need to deal only with a part of it and the parent should provide you with what you should do.
     
  5. Hope2Learn

    Hope2Learn New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Yes I am in the USA and it is a public elementary school. The principal, although may seem like an idiot, just found out about this today as well and has arranged for the parents to come in an hour early before school along with the school nurse (who already manages another D1 in our building so has more experience with it than I do), to meet with us to find out more information about this particular child's needs. She is coming to us from a private school so I'm not sure what type of IEP/504 may have been in place for her previously if any. Thanks for the links - I will go check them out now.
     
  6. Becky Stevens mom

    Becky Stevens mom Approved members

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,719
    Ahhhh, ok, that is better then;) pardon my comment about the principal. I thought he expected you to do much of the diabetes care with no training. My son was the first type 1 diabetic in his schools history and it was a learning curve for the teachers and staff there but they have all done really well. We also have a full time RN there now when before Steven started there was only a part time nurse that we shared with the another school
     
  7. AlisonKS

    AlisonKS Approved members

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,391
    My son is in kindergarten. At the beginning of the year we went through the 504 process. The nurse is not at the school but also travels around. She trained his teacher, the principal, and other staff. If she couldn't train them the ADA could send out someone. He has a cheat sheet that shows if at x number do x-I got this from the ADA and the nurse loved it and now uses it for other students-real simple since if there's an emergency situation there is no time to read paragraph after paragraph. This sheet is in his kit and in the nurses office which is right next to wear some trained staff is.
     
  8. gerry speirs

    gerry speirs Approved members

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Messages:
    149
    Hi,
    first of all much kudos to you for actually taking the time to sit down and learn as much as you can, per the principal, if they have been sitting on this and then just thrown it at you boo to them but I dont know the full story so...
    My daughter started K last september and it was a huge step for us, luckily I am a stay at home dad and the school is very close to home. We set up a 504 plan before hand and its a great tool to have as a parent/nurse/teacher. Our nurse is only at school all day on Tues and Thurs and the other days she comes at lunchtime to test and bolus Miranda. I go at snacktime everyday with my 9 month old, and test and I also help in the class on Wed. The nurse texts the BG readings at lunch to me and the bolus she is giving. If Mir feels low at any time she lets her teacher know and she calls me from the classroom on my cell. Mir has a box of supplies in the class so if I cant get there immediately I'll tell her to give her a sugar tablet from the box and then I will go test her if its not near home time. You may be thinking wow what the heck, but information is the key and communication between the main people in the students day is vital. The best thing you can do is talk to the parents and ask them what they would like from you. Dont ever feel like your annoying any parent of a type 1 child with seemingly stupid questions, the more you know the more you can be of help. On the other hand dont freak out help should be just a phone call away. Miranda loves her K class and all the kids are aware of her condition, strange at first but after a while kids adapt and move on.
    Sorry to go on and on but just make sure everyone is on the same page and you should be fine.
    Good Luck and keep us posted!
     
  9. gerry speirs

    gerry speirs Approved members

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Messages:
    149
    sorry about my reply regarding the principal also, by the time I wrote my long winded story you had already posted that they only just found out...
     
  10. sooz

    sooz Approved members

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,330
    I would also like to commend you for trying to do research to help this little child who will be in your care. It says a lot about the quality of teacher you are ....and your willingness to try to learn what you need to is so touching.

    I also created a chart for my granddaughter's teacher (she is in the 3rd grade this year) and it lists sample blood glucose numbers and what should be done at each level. The most important thing, I think, for you to know is what to do if the child has a low blood glucose reading. Your willingness to let them test in the classroom speaks volumes about how well this will all work.

    The child should have a 'care kit' that will contain her testing equipment...a meter, test strips, a lancing device, perhaps some alcohol wipes..the child's hands should be very clean before testing. Either have them wash their hands with soap and water, or use the alcohol wipe. The test strip goes in the meter, the child lances their finger, the blood is applied to the test strip and the number is revealed. You have to understand there is no cause for concern to other children or yourself regarding this small drop of blood or the used test strip. We used to keep an empty water bottle in the care kit to dispose of the test strips and the lancets. Children scrape their knees every day at school and the exposure is no more than that.

    If the number is "low" then the child will need to be given a quick acting source of glucose. It can be a glucose tab, a juice box, candy, real soda, something like that. We always keep a juice box in the care kit. You should be provided with juice boxes, glucose tabs, or candy by the parents to keep in your classroom. If the child has to go to the nurse's office because of a low they should never be sent on their own. They should ALWAYS be sent with someone to accompany them in case they pass out. There should be a glucagon pen and instructions on how to use it in the child's care kit also. This would be used if the child becomes unable to take fast acting glucose by mouth. This is extremely rare so I would not focus on that, but rather focus on 'catching the low' before it becomes a danger. When you know the child for a while you probably will be able to recognize a low when you see it. The child may become extra quiet, there may be dark circles under their eyes, alternatively the child who is usually well behaved may become combative, hard to handle, confused, unable to answer questions coherently, or whine. Any unusual behaviour should be a signal that the child is either low or high before deciding that it is strictly a behaviour issue that needs discipline.

    Highs are dangerous in the long run, but lows are what are dangerous in the immediate short term. If it is an extremely hot day, or an extremely cold day, if there is extra physical activity, if the child is coming down with an illness, all these may trigger extreme changes in blood sugars. Blood sugars (blood glucose) numbers can drop fast depending on the situation. Do not assume that because the child was tested 30 minutes previously that they are ok. If the child says they are feeling low or feeling like they should be tested, they should ALWAYS be allowed to test. If you want me to send you my chart that I made for my granddaughter you can email me at sooz@earthlink.net. Each child's diabetes varies however and it is up to the parents to provide you with a sliding scale to be used for bringing up blood sugars.

    Im sure other people can add to what I suggest here. Thank you SO MUCH for caring and trying to learn what is needed. As far as I am concerned I can add you to my list of heroes! If you have any specific questions about what I have suggested or anything else, please ask away!!

    ......... edited to add:

    I thought of a few more things to add. When getting the test strips out of the container, try not to touch the ends where the strip goes into the meter or where the blood is applied. If you touch them and you have any sugar on your fingers you will nullify the results. Also the test strips are extremely degradable in the air. Take the test strip out quickly and close the carton as fast as possible. Do not store the strips in anything other than the carton they come in.

    As far as explaining to the other children in the classroom about diabetes you might want to ask the parents how they want this handled. For myself, I liken it to my glasses. Grandma wears glasses because her eyes dont work. So and so has a hearing aide because they need help hearing. Hailey needs insulin because her body doesnt make insulin by itself, it is just that simple. This is her way of getting insulin. There are many children's books regarding type 1 diabetes that you might want to read to the children in the classroom if they parents wish it, or if it becomes an issue. It is something to consider and something to plan for..what you will say if the other children ask about it. The last thing we want for our children is to be thought of as different or to have to do things differently for them, but honestly, it is a fact of life and if it is treated matter of factly it should not be an issue. I hope this does not generate controversy here on the board. I would be interested in hearing how others think about this.

    Now for my granddaughter a low is anything under 70. 100 is the ideal number. She would be treated for a low for anything under 70 however if she is below 80 it would not be wrong to give her 4 grams of carbohydrates for example, just as a precaution. However as I stated before each doctor and parent and child is different. A high for my granddaughter would be considered over 150 and in that case she would be encouraged to drink water. If she were extremely high she might need more insulin which would need the nurse or the parent to be called. You also need to be aware that their numbers will be higher right after eating. It takes a while for them to come down right after they have had carbs.

    A good resource for knowing the amount of carbs in food is a web site and/or book called Calorie King. Children with type 1 diabetes can have anything to eat that a child who does not have diabetes can have. They just need to know the amount of carbs in the food and how much insulin is needed to 'cover' it. Classroom parties can be challenging in that regard. Hailey used to bring her treats/cup cakes home and eat them as a dessert for her dinner. It is best if classroom parties can be scheduled so the parents will know about them and give instructions about how they want them handled.

    In a nutshell, the care of type 1 diabetes revolves around carbs eaten, insulin needed, level of physical activity..in a cycle. Have physical activity, eat carbs, take insulin. Oh and there are two types of insulin, fast acting and slow acting. The child will take the slow acting to keep them steady as possible within a 24 hour period and the fast acting is taken to off set the carbs that are eaten. You see, I could ramble on and on lol....

    Ok one more thing, if the child is low or high, learning may not be possible at that moment. Test results (school work, Im talking about here) will not be the same if the child is low or high. There may be classroom management issues revolving around the high or low numbers. I think these are important things for the classroom teachers to keep in mind....not only diabetes management from a health perspective, but also from a learning perspective.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2010
  11. wilf

    wilf Approved members

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Messages:
    9,652
    I don't have anything factual to add - lots of excellent posts from others.

    Just want to say how impressed I am that you are taking the time on your own time to do some learning. :)

    This world needs more teachers like you.. :cwds:
     
  12. MOM to KELLSE

    MOM to KELLSE Approved members

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    442
    I so agree with Wilf...thanks for taking the time to learn more for your student and for being a wonderful teacher!:cwds:
     
  13. BKKT10

    BKKT10 Approved members

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Messages:
    245
    My only advice to you, aside from all of the other wonderful advice that you have received already, is to always remember- this student with T1 is STILL A KID. Treat them as such. Yes, they will require special attention. Yes, it is a scary disease. But I think my biggest struggle with my daughter (when she reaches school age) will be to ensure that she is still treated at the same level and can do the same things as the rest of her classmates, regardless of her illness. I've read stories on this forum about teachers telling classrooms that they can't do X Y or Z because "johnny" has diabetes- imagine how awful you would feel if you were the kid being singled out?

    I think its great that you came to these boards to find out information ahead of time. I wish more public educators would do the same!
     
  14. Charliesmom

    Charliesmom Approved members

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,472
    My son is in K this year and it's his teachers first time with a D student, too, but fortunately the nurse is there full time. His main teacher and the assistant teacher both took the diabetes class for teachers and the assistant also took a class on the insulin pump. The big thing for me was that the teachers understood his signs of a low. Charlie doesn't really communicate his lows but his behavior changes and I wanted them to understand that it could be a low and not just a grumpy 5 year old. Definately ask what his/her symptoms are. Oh, and I don't know how you do birthday treats but Charlies teacher asks the parents to let her know prior to sending the treats in so I know ahead of time.
    I wonder if it's a new diagnosis and that's why they are switching from private to public?
     
  15. Deal

    Deal Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    Messages:
    557
    Great to see you in here. I would just try and follow the parents plan as they give it. Don't be afraid to call them at any time if you are unsure of what to do in any given situation. I tell my sons teachers that if they are unsure/confused, treat first, review later. You have to take your instructions from the child's parents though, don't try and out expertise them.

    In the class just make the student feels normal, don't bring undue attention to their disease. Kids want to be kids. You do need to keep an extra eye on him looking for signs that the parents will detail for you but it really should not be so much that it interferes with your primary role in the class.

    I would be grateful for a teacher such as yourself that takes things like this seriously and wants to do what is best for the child.
     
  16. Caleb's*mom

    Caleb's*mom Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2010
    Messages:
    66
    I just want to tell you how great it is that you want to gain information. That's so wonderful and I'm sure the parents will appreciate it very much! :)
     
  17. Mom2rh

    Mom2rh Approved members

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Messages:
    2,334
    I agree...you seem like a very caring and awesome teacher.

    I want to reassure you that while this stuff may seem daunting (it certainly was to us at first)...type 1 D has a really steep learning curve...but you will "get it" and it will not seem so daunting.

    Communicating with the parents is going to be critical...for them to feel comfortable leaving their child in your care and for you to understand how her D works.

    One last thing...if/when you get another student with diabetes...every child/person is different. We have a saying here YDMV...which means your diabetes may vary. So while what you are learning will help you with another child, every person with D is different in their treatment and response.

    Good luck...you are going to do great!
     
  18. chrissy92972

    chrissy92972 Approved members

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    69
    I have a son who is in 2nd grade but was diagnosed a few months before KD. Some suggestions I have are always allow this child a drink or to go to the bathroom. If he is high then his bathroom needs will be more urgent. If he has his hand up never ignore it or say wait a minute. Teacher's have tried that with my son and he was told get up and go to the nurse if he has to. He is assigned a partner every week so he never goes to the nurse, bathroom, etc alone.

    In his classroom, we keep an extra meter, glucose tablets, juiceboxes, and snacks even though we have a fulltime nurse, because of lockdowns, restrictive moments etc. Also whenever he goes outside for recess he always has gluscose tablets with him.

    I really admire your interest in your new student, I wish all teachers were as caring.

    chrissy
     
  19. quiltinmom

    quiltinmom Approved members

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Messages:
    1,188
    First of all, she is lucky to have a teacher who is taking this seriously! Some teachers sort of brush it off, like it's there, but they'll never have to really DO anything with it. So great job there.
    (I didn't read the other posts, so sorry if it's a repeat)

    Second, when you have the meeting with the teacher, don't be afraid to take notes! It's highly likely that you will not remember everything they say, because diabetes can get complicated. It will be good to go back and refresh your memory. You d'nt necessarily need to write down their every word, but at least make sure you write down numbers, like what is low/high, what number necessitates a correction, etc. (The parents might have all of that written out for you already.)

    Third, ALWAYS call the parents right away if you have questions! Even if you feel like it's a "dumb" question. They will appreciate you checking with them when you're not sure. It's their precious daughter, and they won't think less of you for calling them when you need to. Same with having her test. If you suspect a high or a low because of her behavior, it's pretty much always okay to have her do an extra test, just in case, if it's been awhile.

    Fourth, try not to worry. We all felt the same way you did the first day we were home with our newly Dx'ed children. Take it one day at a time. You'll feel unsure at first, but after a week or two you'll most likely feel comfortable with the day-to-day stuff. No matter how much research you do (which is good!) it can't replace actually experiencing it. But you'll do fine! The part you'll be responsible for isn't too hard. :)

    Good luck!
     
  20. Hope2Learn

    Hope2Learn New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Thank you so much!! You have given me such great information and encouragement. Part of my concern comes from a fear of not knowing whether or not the parents will give me a list of what to do with each number and how to respond to the different levels. Our kindergarten room has a drinking fountain and restroom right in it and the children are permitted to use either whenever they need as long as they tell me first so I know where they are at all times. I have an amazingly compassionate class who supports each other and encourages each other so I'm sure they will look at our new friend with excitement just as I am, but you are right, I will need to find out how her parents want me to handle her right to privacy and what and how they want me to share with other students. I'm also glad you mentioned classroom parties as students usually tend to bring in cupcakes or other sweet treats which I will have to find out how we will handle that. Fortunately we do not have any birthdays until the end of Jan. so that will give me time to get to know her better and find out what the parents want me to do. My only other fear comes from my compassion for children. I know my own three teenage children hate getting shots and finger pricks when they get their iron checked at the Dr. This may seem like a stupid question but does the blood testing and insulin injections hurt a lot or have the children just become used to them being a part of their life? I know the nurse will give her the injections at lunch but I'm not sure if the child tests herself or if I would need to. I'm not sure I could use the lancet knowing I was hurting her. I guess if I think about it that it is a necessity for her to be happy and healthy it may be a little easier.
    Thanks again for all of your help and insight. I truly appreciate it!
     

Share This Page

- advertisement -

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice