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glucagon at school

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by deborah, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. deborah

    deborah New Member

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    Hi.
    My name is Deborah and my son Nicholas is 15, and has had type 1 diabetes for 6 years. I have never posted on this forum but have been reading your post for many years to get great advice.
    Here's my question.
    My son started at a high school this year in Chicago.
    The school does not have a gym, so the kids go to a fitness center about 3 blocks away or to a park (5 blocks), when it's nice out.
    I requested that the school train someone to use glucagon when they leave the building for gym. They have a part-time nurse (2x week) and a full-time nurse who is there for severly disabled kids.
    Anyway, the part-time nurse says I'm being "unreasonable" and they cannot accomodate him. She saids they don't have to train anyone,and they're not liable..She saids they have a full-time nurse at the school at all times and that should be good enough. I said a nurse who's 4 blocks away from the school is not good enough. She said Nick can just stay at the school, and not participate on the days they leave the building. I told her that is discrimination. She thinks I'm just being an over-protective mother.
    Do the laws regarding training staff to use glucagon apply state to state?
    Any advice you have would be helpful.

    Deborah (mom of nick diagnosed march 2001)
     
  2. karonray

    karonray Approved members

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    nice to meet ya

    Your son has a right to be safe at school. period. Start looking at the ADA website http://www.diabetes.org/home.jsp , they have great resourses. Also look into 504 plans , which are federal, not state, funded. I am sure someone else on here will have many more places to start looking also.
     
  3. Amy C.

    Amy C. Approved members

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    If you look at the Diabetes at School section, you can see that with the 504 plan you can state the child has the right to have the low and high blood sugars treated. It sounds like you have not set up a 504 and perhaps now is the time to do this. There is a wealth of information on what to expect in the public schools on the page. http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/d_0q_000.htm
     
  4. madde

    madde Approved members

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    I agree, you need to set up a 504 plan in your childs school. This is the best way to protect him. Do some research regarding the 504 plan, or contact an attorney for a consultation on the laws in your state regarding the 504.

    Good luck, and don't let them bully you. You have a right to make sure your son is safe at all times, and NOT discriminated against. I can't believe they wanted him to stay at the school during gym classes. That is absurd.

    Gain all the information you can on the 504, and present the request to the
    school, this might change their minds on their position. Be polite, and cordial, but if they still refuse, then let them know that you will take it a step further.

    I hope everything works out, your son should not feel left out because of his diabetes.
     
  5. deborah

    deborah New Member

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    Nice to meet you all.
    Thanks for your help and advice.

    I do have a 504 plan in place for Nick.
    However, I was only told recently, that the kids will leave the building
    starting in December for gym class.
    (I wasn't aware of it at the beginning of school)

    So, I'm trying to modify his 504 plan.
    I have e-mailed his gym teacher to see if she's willing to be trained.
    I asked her what they do for kids who have asthma or need an epi-pen injection. I would think they have to train someone to help these kids as well.
    She hasn't responded yet.

    I set up an appointment to talk to the principal, and if he doesn't understand then I'll call the Office of Civil Rights.

    Thanks again.
    Deborah
     
  6. Hollyb

    Hollyb Approved members

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    Hi,

    We ran into the same situation this year -- during the nice weather the class was jogging to a semi-nearby park for phys ed class.

    We're in Canada and although our doctor told my 14-year-old to carry his Glucagon in his backpack (which he does), our CDE told us that teachers in our board are "not allowed" to administer it -- basically they will call the paramedics, who will start an IV drip. We also don't have school nurses... so I'm not even sure what he carries the damn stuff around with him for. Basically so we can rush to the school and give it to him, I guess.

    They have been completely accommodating for us in every other way, but this one is sticky. Last year his teacher did agree to learn how to give Glucagon when they were going on a camp trip, but that was just because he was a good guy.

    So what did we do? Made damn sure he had a really good suppy of both glucose tabs and something more substantial to eat, and that the teacher did too. And that he tested before, during and before walking back to the school. He makes sure to start gym a bit on the high side, and we cross our fingers.

    And it's been fine, but as we all know, it only takes that one time...
     
  7. selketine

    selketine Approved members

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    I would ask for a meeting to modify the 504 plan in writing.

    The "school discrimination" packet from the ADA might still be useful - call 1-800-DIABETES and they send it out really quickly. There is a ton of info on there.

    I didn't see anything quickly on state laws regarding diabetes and glucagon delegation. I guess the first question is can they delegate glucagon? You may already know that. Some states they cannot. But you are correct in that they should not be allowed to say that it isn't their problem.

    There are some excellent articles on the ADA website - I'll try to post links to them later.
     
  8. Momof4gr8kids

    Momof4gr8kids Approved members

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    So here is one way around this sticky situation. If the law states a teacher, or other staff member may not give the glucagon injection, and your child is in his/her teens, more then likely their friends are in their teens. You could train one of their friends who is in their GYM class on how to use it. I wouldn't do this for a child in elementry, middle school maybe, high school almost certainly. Since he can carry it in his back pack it would be there already.
     
  9. deborah

    deborah New Member

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    I called the State of Illinois Board of Education, and they said there are not any laws
    regarding staff not giving medications, they just can't be forced to do it.
    So, as long as someone is willing to be trained it is ok.

    The 504 cooridinator at the school suggested I hire my own private nurse
    to go with him. - I kind of laughed at that. (with what money?)

    I will put in writing that I want the 504 plan modified and take it from there.
     
  10. selketine

    selketine Approved members

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    Did you find out what they do about kids needing epipens? I suppose it is possible that none of the kids going out to this other place need them but it seems unlikely. If anything an allergic reaction needs an even quicker response than a low blood sugar.

    I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to post links - I'll try to do that tomorrow. I need to look through some materials.
     
  11. Tamara Gamble

    Tamara Gamble Approved members

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    They cannot discriminate against your child whatever state you are in. By not allowing a child to participate in gym class because they have neglected to train any TDP's is not acceptable. What do they do for field trips and extracurricular activities? This is blatent discrimination. Your child is to be allowed to have the same educational opportunities as every other child.

    Even with delaying or not accomodating for a 504 or whatever the spirit of the law is: It is expressed in the implementing regulations of Section 504 of the Rehabiliatation Act of 1973 that the development of accommodations is to be done within a reasonable time frame so as to not perpetuate discrimination, nor have the effect of defeating or substantially impairing a student's right to a free, appropriate public education with accomodations, as needed.

    This is what I found: Legal Rights of Students with Diabetes: Page 19 Section 4.3: Title II of the ADA (covering public schools) states that "no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benfits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity." 45 U.S.C. 12132 A "qualified individual with a disability" under the ADA is "an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices, ... or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the particiapation in programs or activities provided by a bulic entity." 42 U.S.C. 12131 (2).

    There is alot more to this. Go to the ADA web site and look up Legal rights of students with Diabetes. Print out the 100 and some odd pages for reference. Also look up FAPE. Do call the 1-800-DIABETES line as Carol suggested and ask for the school discrimination package. These resources will be your greatest assets.

    Who are your trained diabetic proffesionals? Are they named in your 504 plan? They must have a back up for situations such as these. It's not your problem that the nurse is busy. They must make other accomodations so your child can participate. They can and must supply someone for your son who has been appropriatly trained so he can be on a level playing field with everyone else.

    Carol is better with direct links than I am so I'm sure she can help.

    Good Luck! God Bless!

    Tami
     
  12. margaret

    margaret Approved members

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    I won with OCR on a situation regarding not taking glucagon and trained personnel on a field trip. They must have it availabe at all times, at all functions on or off campus. File complaint with OCR but it doesn't mean they won't do it again. Remember to document all actions and just because instructions are written, does not mean your child is safe. In our experience, we found that school and healthcare officials have a problem just reading!
    Margaret
     
  13. deborah

    deborah New Member

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  14. margaret

    margaret Approved members

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    Yes, Deborah, we have an IEP and it does offer more protections. If you would like you may email me privately as others here do not wish to converse with me.
    Margaret
     
  15. Momof4gr8kids

    Momof4gr8kids Approved members

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    The IEP is more protective, but unless diabetes is effecting your childs ability to be at, and do well in school it is really hard to get. You may want to speak to one of the advocates at the ADA, and see what they think.
     
  16. margaret

    margaret Approved members

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    Hey Jamie, I guess your advice is right. I only have 5 years of experience in IEP development and implementation regarding diabetes and although I have filed 2 discrimination packets with the ADA, I have not received any help or advice that I haven't already tried. Deborah may have more luck as I don't understand their selection process. Deborah, I was only trying to assist as we have been through so much and I may be able to offer you some assistance.

    Margaret
     
  17. ramrummy

    ramrummy Guest

    Whilst you are dealing with the legalities and who does what, can I suggest that you ask your sons' friends if they can keep an eye, and to learn to recognise your sons' symptoms and if he goes unconscious, which is really the main time glucagon is used, that they call an ambulance and state 'diabetic emergency' and be able to describe what happened. My friend has a 17 yr old who has done this with the close friends of her son, who are likely to be there when it happens.

    We do not have nurses in schools here and so we dont rely on them being there when it counts. I am sure that your son has at least one friend who has been around him long enough to recognise the symptoms of lows, or at least cares enough to learn how to recognise them.

    Legalities can get the nurse/teachers trained, but they may not be there when the unexpected happens, friends probably will be. Although, if they are trained, at least they can be 'blamed' if something happened, but I would prefer to not get into that in the first place.

    Whilst your son is not legally responsible for himself, and adults should be trained to deal with medical situations, other adults do not have the same incentive to look after your child as you. I would be covering all my bases, not just the 'nurse' angle.
     
  18. margaret

    margaret Approved members

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    While I appreciate that other students tend to be most supportive, it's kind of hard when my son has not been afforded the opportunity to make any lasting friendships as the school he is currently attending in # 9 since third grade and he is now in seventh. So while you may have the answer for your child and diabetic care, allow me to assure you, circumstances are not the same for all. In other words, "one size does not fit all", hence the IEP.
    Margaret
     
  19. selketine

    selketine Approved members

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    I think others are right saying that the IEP might be harder to get - you have to demonstrate that learning is affected which is not a requirement for a 504. I think since the issue is gym class and glucagon that unless there is also a learning problem it might be hard to get an IEP. It doesn't mean you cannot try.

    This is a good table comparing the IEP and 504: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/schoolhealth/exhibit2.PDF
    I realize it is from Texas but the laws are federal so apply the same in every state.

    This is another article worth looking at if you haven't yet:
    http://www.diabetes.org/uedocuments/Rapparticle1.pdf

    This was written by a school board attorney for other school board attorneys and mentions delegation of diabetic care.

    I'm guessing you found these two Illinois state documents on the care of children with diabetes and medication administration:

    http://www.diabetes.org/advocacy/ILschool_manual.pdf
    http://www.isbe.state.il.us/spec-ed...20administration%20in%20schools%20illinois%22

    I think unfortunately there is no "magic bullet" easy way to get your child the services they require. Most of the time with education and negotiation the school will come through and do what they should. Other times it doesn't work that way. It is certainly frustrating for all of us that this wheel has to be invented or reinvented with every diabetic student but it seems to be the case. I think you have to start out with the request to change the 504 and show them why and go from there:cwds:
     
  20. Momof4gr8kids

    Momof4gr8kids Approved members

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    I am sorry if I offended you. I did not mean to. I was just voicing what has been my expirience.
     

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