Having a child with diabetes can be a scary experience for many parents, particularly because school-age children spend the majority of their time at school, where their parents aren’t immediately available to assist them if they need help. Therefore, you must place a lot of your trust in the professionals at your child’s educational institution, like the school nurse, principal and classroom teacher, to handle any issues that may arise. There are things you can do, though, to help these individuals care for your child in the best way possible. Read on for a few tips.
Each school year is different. Therefore, if you had a bad experience the year before with your child’s care, try to put your negative feelings from that aside. Focus on making your first meeting of the year with the school professionals as productive as possible. If nothing else, your child classroom teacher will be different, so there is no reason why the new school year will be the same as the old one was.
During the meeting, talk openly about your child’s medical history. It is important that everyone (the nurse, classroom teacher, etc.) is aware of the severity of the condition and what type of care your child requires daily in order to remain healthy. Some of the topics you probably want to touch on include insulin administration and blood glucose monitoring. The school nurse will often be the most knowledgeable when it comes to the care a child with diabetes requires, but he or she probably will not be a full-time employee at the school. Therefore, make sure that you ask who will handle your child’s care when the nurse is not there and also inquire about the type of training that individual has received.
Bring any relevant paperwork from your child’s doctor to the meeting, and make sure you keep things upbeat. Explain that your child’s education is very important to you, and you want to work with the team to make sure he or she misses as few days as possible. Go over the doctor’s notes and make sure a plan is put into place that the school employees must follow in order to carry out all of the doctor’s instructions.
Your child needs to feel connected to the school in order to get the most from his or her educational experience. Therefore, encourage extracurricular activities; not only will your child enjoy school that much more, but he or she will be able to connect with their peers and engage in social relationships. It may be hard to get all of the adults involved in these activities trained in diabetes management, so make sure that your child has a “diabetes pack” with instructions and everything they could need inside. This type of kit could be invaluable if your child has an issue later on.
In order for your child to have a successful and safe school year, you must work with the school team and establish solid communication with them. Remember that you are your child’s best advocate. Get a meeting set up before each school year begins, make sure that the staff understands your child’s needs and go from there. With your support, your child will have a great school year!