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School attendance

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by blessedmommy, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. blessedmommy

    blessedmommy New Member

    Apr 20, 2007
    Hi I am new to the Forum....I have a seven year old daughter with type 1 diabetes and I am glad that web sites like this exist!!! I am currently having a problem with our School district and I do not know exactly what to do. First of all I do believe that Education is very important and of course that should be instilled in our children at a very young age. My daughter has had a hard year this year with the diabetes and other health issues...Her A1C is up and she has been sick a lot this year which of course results in a lot of absences. At the beginning of the year we discovered that my daughter had a heart murmur and I was also told that she may have adrenal insufficiency (Addison's Disease) along with nodules on her thyroid... We had to do the 24 hour urine catch 3 different times which resulted in three absences...not to mention the visits to the cardiologist and the endo for her regular check-ups. Another problem we have is the inconsistencies at school...My daughter has had 3 different Substitutes this year that have actually failed to ensure that she was sent to the nurse for her insulin shot!! there are a lot of parents that send their children to school sick and of course those children end up in the tiny little nurses office that my daughter must go to the have her treatment so she ends up getting exposed to all of the sick children. During the winter time it is bad, she is sick every time I turn around. Fortunately my daughter has not fallen behind in her school work, she has actually been recommended for a gifted and talented class.
    Here is my problem...I just received a registered letter from the school two days ago stating that my daughter has missed 17 (excused) days of school this year and she must attend Saturday school. I was told that all the children do is color at Saturday school and that they are just there so that the school can get their funding from the State. I am a bit irritated about the whole thing!!! The weekends are so essential for my kids to catch up on their would be one thing if i was just being a dead beat parent that was just to lazy to take my child to school, but that is not the case, I have three other children that I must still take to school even when My daughter is sick. Does anyone know any info that would help me... I have heard that there are special programs that are put in place for children with health issues but i am not sure...:confused:
  2. deafmack

    deafmack Approved members

    Sep 22, 2006
    One thing that will really help you is to make sure you have a 504 plan for your daughter. A 504 plan will ensure that your daughter can test in the classroom and also protect her when she is absent and has to miss so much due to her diabetes. Also some States like Washington have special protections in place for children with diabetes. I do not know which state you live in but I would certainly get a 504 plan into place if you have not done so before. The American Diabetes Website can help you with this and I am sure this website can help you also. I wish you the best in getting what your daughter needs. Your daughter does not need to be placed in a position where she is feeling like she is being disciplined for missing school when it is a result of her diabetes and other health issues.
  3. Tamara Gamble

    Tamara Gamble Approved members

    Jul 28, 2006
    Hi, first thing is that you need to educate yourself on what you and your childs rights are. A great start is the ADA website Look for legal rights of students with diabetes. NDEP guide.The second is to call 1-800-diabetes and ask for their wisdom kit and school discrimination package. These packages are free and contain a wealth of information.

    Make sure you look up texas law in regards to your child they do have specific laws in your state. I don't have this link right off hand so Carol if your reading and you have it please post it. If not try Legal Rights of Sudents with diabetes in Texas. When you call national for your packages ask to be conected to a parent advocate from Texas they can help you and are much more informed about the law in your area.

    You need to secure a 504 plan for your child before the next school year so use the DREDF example on the ADA website for this. Your request to the school should be in writing and before the start of the next school session.

    Good Luck!

    Tami Gamble
  4. badshoe

    badshoe Approved members

    Jun 28, 2006
    Another vote for ADA. ADA has some support people you can talk to. I encorage people to join ADA to help make the se services available.
  5. MamaC

    MamaC Approved members

    Dec 9, 2006
    I agree that school is important but not as important as a child's health. My son's 504 states that he cannot be penalized for time missed due to diabetes. Unfortunately the class he misses the most time in is Spanish 1, which takes place during the time he is testing his BG and quite often treating a low. Although he is passing, he doesn't have a grasp of the subject and will likely re-take it next year.

    I think it is unreasonable to make a child attend Saturday school to make up for excused absences, and it would not be unrealistic for your daughter to associate Sat school with diabetes and attach a negative feeling to it. I'd talk with the administrators and see if there is a loophole.

    Particularly if there is little or no instruction involved with this Saturday school.

  6. caspi

    caspi Approved members

    Oct 11, 2006
    Going to school on Saturday sounds absurd! Especially if your daughter has not fallen behind in her schoolwork. This was probably a computer generated letter and they didn't take the time to look at your daughter's file to see just why she was having these absences. I would definitely call them and explain the situation ASAP.

    Good luck!!!
  7. Amy C.

    Amy C. Approved members

    Oct 22, 2005
    I noticed that you live in Texas.

    This is from the Texas Education Agency's Site. The Health and Safety Code was amended in 2005. The law now states that that the student’s parents and physician develop a diabetes management and treatment plan. The plan must identify the health services the student may receive, evaluate the student’s ability to manage their diabetes, evaluate the student’s level of understanding of their diabetes, and be signed by the parent/guardian and physician.

    Before, or at the beginning of, the school year, or upon enrollment of the student, or following the diagnosis of diabetes, the parent/guardian must submit a copy of the plan to the school. Upon receiving the student’s diabetes management and treatment plan, the school principal, the school nurse (if the campus has a school nurse assigned to the campus), one of the student’s teachers, and the student’s parents must develop an individualized health plan for the student with diabetes if the student will need care for the diabetes while at school or while participating in a school activity. The plan will be developed in collaboration with the student’s physician, to the extent practicable. The individualized health plan must incorporate components of the student’s diabetes management and treatment plan.

    In this plan, you can stipulate that your child will not be penalized for absences due to diabetes or any of her other health issues.

    To resolve this now, I would check to appeal this decision that your child attend Saturday school. Then I would work on getting a diabetes management plan in place. Texas is a great place to be for a child with diabetes in public school as there are laws that require schools to develope a management plan -- it isn't optional.
  8. gsmom

    gsmom Approved members

    Jan 3, 2007
    I'm glad that you added the part about the school getting it's money for attendance. Unfortunately that's all it's boiling down to I'm thinking. While in their eyes she's not being punished, in her & our eyes, she is. IF this were my child, especially since there is not going to be instruction going on & all her work has been kept up, I would not send her. By the way, I'm a teacher. I got a letter from my sons school also about "excessive" absences, even though they are all excused. Our state requires the school to send them out after X amount of days and DCFS could be contacted, even though they are all excused. I realize that these protocols have been put in place for children who are missing & unexcused and if DCFS gets called I'll be happy to talk to them!

    Your daughter & her health should not have to foot the bill for the school.
  9. selketine

    selketine Approved members

    Jan 4, 2006
    Here are some TX documents: (referenced earlier about drawing up a health plan). This is different from a 504 though. I didn't find anything in it specifically about absences but it is impt. to know about.

    This is a good document:

    I didn't see anything in there either specifically relating to excused absences but I might have missed it.

    I would suggest discussing this with your school and adding it to your DMMP (or 504 if you chose to get one - it would be a good idea) that she does not have to attend this summer school if it is all busy work. If indeed it could be helpful then it should be an option but not requirement.
  10. 3jennifer

    3jennifer Approved members

    Feb 5, 2006
    I live in Texas too and as outlined the IHP is a must that all schools in Texas have to put in place for diabetic students. However, I will caution, as another posted mentioned, that this is NOT the same document as a 504 Plan. A group of diabetic parents in my district (including myself) are fighting with our district because they will not grant 504 Plans for diabetic students, stating that 504 is for academic accomodations only and all medical needs are outlined in the IHP. They are trying to by-pass having 504 Plans by putting medical accomodations in the IHP, which is wrong. The IHP should outline the individual medical treatment of the student as outlined by the doctor (such as how they get their insulin, shots or pump, dosage, carbs, etc). The 504 Plan should work along with an IHP in outlining the accomodations that the student may need in order to function while in school, such as not being penalized for absences due to diabetes, being allowed to makeup any worked missed due to diabetes absences without penalty, testing in the classroom, leaving anytime to go to the nurses's office, testing bs nubmers before taking any test, etc. Our group has an attorney representing us and she has filed a complaint with the OCR. Let me know if you want more info, I have been addressing this for over a year in our district.
  11. spamid

    spamid Approved members

    Jul 11, 2006

    Any advice for someone who might be moving to TX? I had a job interview this week in Waco, and I think they will offer me a position. My daughter is 10 now, she was dx in 8/1/05. She is on a pump and we have both a 504 and an IEP in TN now. Is this statewide?

    kathy's mom
    dx 8/1/05
    pumping with Cozmo since 9/13/06
  12. twicker1

    twicker1 Approved members

    Apr 10, 2006
    I believe I saw somewhere that both the 504 and IEP will transfer with the student anywhere, but may have to be revisited. As far as Texas is concerned, we do have some safeguards when it comes to diabetes, but it still depends on what district you are in as to how much trouble you must go through in order to get the appropriate accomodations.

    I don't know how old your child is, or where you live, but Brandon has a 504, (actually two... one the school approved and one I want in place). The main difference in the two plans is that 1) the district doesn't believe they must provide someone on field trips, and 2) all his BG checks, insulin, etc, must be done in the nurse's office. I have not given up on the field trip issue, but they kind of have my hands tied on number two.

    The child must be self-managing in order to carry supplies around the school and test whenever/where ever necessary. I can deal with that for the time being. There is definitely a point in the 504 that states that he must be tested, and in range, in order to take tests, but since he is in Kindergarten they haven't really stood by this one.

    Also, it is important to know that if there is a full time nurse on staff, the school MUST employ one other person trained in all aspects of diabetes care (an UDCA). If the school does not have a full time nurse on staff, there must be 3 UDCA's on campus. The school must make a genuine effort to find people to fulfill this/these positions, but the empoyee has every right to refuse with penalty.

    Please check out the 504 section on the home page. There are many to choose from depended on your child's age. Also, read over the other and pull any item you believe is necessary.

    The main points in Brandon's 504 are that he cannot be punished for loosing time for maintaining his BG, extra help will be arrange if he has had to miss class, he is not punished for tardies due to BG maintainance (including mornings), He will not be punished for excessive absenses. I was told that we COULD be called to see the judge, but considering the situation, it wouldn't result in any punishment. OH, and the most important thing, if you child DOES end up in some sort of detention, Saturday school, etc, they HAVE to provide someone that is specialized in diabetes care.

    Where are you located?
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2007

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