Last school year when Craig was diagnosed, my first thought was "The more teachers and staff that know about type 1, the safer my child will be"
The school really did not know anything about type 1 but they said they did have a student who had type 1..I was a little surprised by this...Because as a parent my first thought was to make sure Craig was safe and comfortable at school... And if the staff have no idea what this disease is, then what happens if he passes out or something like that and they have no idea what to do?
So, I educated the staff and teachers about type one and about Craigs individual needs..
This year the first thing was to get back into the school and educate his new teachers.. So I met with his new teachers, the nurse and the principal.
Key things we talked about were:
- What is type 1 - Craigs pancreas does not produce insulin anymore like our do. He needs insulin to live. This can be a serious problem unless taken care of and properly managed.
- Signs of low bloodsugar - sweaty, irritable, sluggish, pale, headache
- Signs of high blood sugar - tired, hungry, headache, thirtsy ect
- How and when to use the Glucagon
- What these things mean to Craig - his specific symptoms like when he is low he usually gets a headache and looks pale.
- What he needs from the school and what we will do as well.- The school will make sure substitutes are educated and know who Craig is, as I will provide the school with a printout of symptoms and a picture of Craig on it. This is put in all of the sub packets so when a sub comes into the class they know right away about Craig. Also I will provide the school with 2 glucagon to have at the school, 1 at the nurses office and 1 in a central location. Also if Craig has a test, he has to check his glucose 5 minutes before the test.. If he is low, he will not take the test until he is at a good number, or a different day. The school also realizes that Craig will probably miss days of school due to his diabetes.. Last year he missed quite a few days due to hospital visits..yes, he was newly diagnosed, so we have a little better control over it, but they still understand that if he misses days due to diabetes, they will work with him to keep him on track. My responsibility in this is to make sure the school gets a doctors note as well so they know why he was gone. Another thing we talked about is that Craig has to have a "buddy"...If he needs to go to the nurses because he is not feeling well or he is low, he must have someone accompany him. This is for safety reasons, if he were to pass out or stumble...We went over his 504 plan as well which had all of this in it.
This year Craig will carry his insulin with him instead of going to the nurses at lunch. He uses the pen so this is easy for him. He can give himself all shots and calculate as well. He texts me his numbers and how much insulin he gets. The process helps because I know what he is getting, and also it means less trips to the nurses office which means less chances to get sick.
Another thing this year that we are doing is someone from JDRF will come to the school and have an assembly. They will teach what Type 1 is and just help students understand..They will also introduce the Walk for a cure and involve the school in fundraising and doing the walk. How fun right? I am excited about this.. Craig can have his friends walk with him and have fun doing it..
Just remember, when you think about your child with type 1..it should not be an embarrassing thing..it is their life and the more people who are educated, the better off your child is and the safer they are.