diabetic student

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Touchthefuture, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. Touchthefuture

    Touchthefuture Comrade

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    Jul 20, 2010

    Hi all I will have a diabetic student this year in 2nd grade. The nurse says he is very trained about going to her to get a blood test everyday. My mom is a diabetic and I have been around other adults with it. Is there anything to look for or be aware of with children? Activities they cannot do?
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    As a mom, not a teacher:

    You may want to let the other parents know to keep him in mind at party time. Perhaps his mom could supply some "safe" treats for days when there are cupcakes or something else being served in class?
     
  4. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Good idea Alice! I wouldn't have thought about that (I always keep in mind my peanut allergies, but wouldn't have thought that far). I know a teammate of mine had a student that was diabetic last year, and he would steal candy sometimes... make sure that you keep stuff like that off your desk and out of reach!
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Julia has a classmate who is diabetic,and all the parents are aware if it. We try to accomodate Grace where possible.
     
  6. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    I had a student with diabetes a few years back. Whenever he went on a field trip, we had to take a staff member (such as the nurse) who was trained in administering medicine, in case he went into shock. I don't know what your school policy is.

    If I knew I was making something sweet or a student was bringing something in, I always contacted his mother in advance. Often, if she knew about it and it wasn't too extravagant, she would let him have the treat, and somehow adjust his diet for the day. If the treats came in last minute and I couldn't get in touch with his mom, I had a supply of non-sugar treat and non-food treats and let him pick.

    He was a mature 5th grade student, so he was able to tell me if he felt like his blood sugar was screwy, and I would send him to the nurse. He had been taught about how serious it was, and he knew not to take advantage of the fact that I would send him to the nurse no questions asked. It's kind of funny, because he would lie about anything else, but not that!
     
  7. glen

    glen Companion

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    My next door neighbor is diabetic. When he was younger, he had a very difficult time knowing his levels were off. My sons (one the same age, one two years older) could see the changes in his behavior, paticularly when his levels were low. He would get very easily agitated or cry easily and my boys would know to send him in to his mother. The neighbor is better and recognizing the signs now (he's 15).

    I used to work in their school when they were little. He and another little girl in the class were both insulin dependent diabetics. If a treat came in that they wanted to have, they brought it down to the nurse's office and she would let them now if it was OK at that time. Remember, if your student has been diabetic since toddlerhood, she's accustomed to having to adjust what she eats.
     
  8. DaleJr88AmpFan

    DaleJr88AmpFan Cohort

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    Before contacting or notifying parents about the medical needs of one of your students, please find out your school's policy. Here it would be a blatant violation of FERPA. We are not allowed to speak of any students disabilities or medical conditions UNLESS the parents have given their express, written consent. Even at that, we err on the side of caution about allowing that information to get out in to the school population.

    I would be in contact with the parents and get a "standard" as to what they would allow for treats. They may just want their child to eat an alternate snack each and every time rather than worry about each food coming in to the classroom. The child will have some working knowledge of what is going on but they can not always be trusted to make the best decisions.

    When I had a child with diabetes, I asked that he ALWAYS test in the nurses' office so that there was always supervision there. At the beginning of the year, he would just start testing anywhere and would leave his lancelet (so?) lying around. (He had just recently been diagnosed so his 'procedures' were amiss.) He would also give himself insulin (his guesstimate-- and let's just say he was not a mathematician) and leave that needle on the floor or rolling on his desks. Ahhhh!!!! I was pregnant with my first child and did not want to inadvertantly puncture myself with one of his needles, etc. I was very adamant about his testing/insulin giving out of the classroom which ticked off the parents... oh, well, I was thinking about his safety as well as the rest of my students, myself, and my unborn daughter.

    All in all, check with your school's policies. Talk to the parents to get a good idea of the child's abilities and go from there. Good luck! :)
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    For the most part, this child is going to be 'just like' the other kids in your room and should be treated likewise. He probably knows 'the signs' of depleting blood sugar levels: weakness, dizzy... Never send him to the nurse alone if he is not feeling well...get a buddy to walk with him. Ditto on the above comments regarding him keeping 'snacks' in your room. Let his family know ahead of time if you have a class party coming up so they can approve of any treats he might be able to have or they could send in something he could have. He should be able to partake in all your regular class activities. The nurse should be able to give you a run down of any other special instructions unique to this kid.
     
  10. repete8

    repete8 Companion

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    i have an upcoming kindergarten student with diabetes also, however, we have no school nurse and he, nor I have an aide, so i will be responsible for all of it. anyone know state laws regarding this and how this would be managable for me??
     
  11. Pencil Monkey

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    I am diabetic and it really annoys me that in general some people act as if it is a communicable disease. :rolleyes: I can understand that others are freaked out by the idea of a needle or testing. But what I can not understand is treating the child like they are a problem. I have had a student placed in my class becuase I knew how to handle all that goes along with being a diabetic. Being around a diabetic is no different than being around any other person and you can not catch it. I feel that it is important that the other children in the class understand that when a diabetic student needs to test or eat that it is because their bodies work differently. I always go over how to handle it if they see a needle on the ground and not to play with the students supplies. I explain this stuff to my students every year because I have to eat every few hours or I will pass out. These students could encounter another diabetic in their lives at some point and I don't want them to treat that person any differently or with this sense of fear that so many other people seem to breed. :2cents:
     
  12. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Teachers are not supposed to be required to handle this sort of thing. If you are comfortable with it I would suggest you ask your school to train you properly with a class of some sort.
     
  13. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    A couple of thoughts-

    He should be able to test in the room - if he was having a dangerous low he may not make it to the nurse's office.

    He might also need to test before any vigorous exercise to make sure he won't go too low with the exertion.

    Many people assume it is sugar diabetics need to avoid - it is really all carbohydrates that need to be eaten in moderation so keep that in mind.

    He will need to keep snacks in the room in case of lows.

    We have a couple of new diabetics in the high school so they aren't as good at controlling their levels yet - when they are high they are given permission to walk around the school to bring their levels down.

    I am sure everything will go well, but as an above poster said, treat the child normally and with respect, and expect your class to as well, and it will be a good lesson for them all.
     
  14. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    I had one a few years ago (in 2nd grade). He couldn't be outside as much as the others and no sweets. For parties mom would send in sugar free items. I kept them in the freezer. If one morning there was a child's birthday and mom was bringing cupcakes I'd defrost a sugar free cucpake and have it ready for him. He handled it very well.
     
  15. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    I would keep a stash of his snacks from home, at school. That way if there is an unexpected treat (kids bday cupcakes, or something) he will have his own treat.
    But totally notify parents in advance of any foods that will be eaten in class whenever possible.
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You should have a conference with the parents to understand what the student's needs are.

    I totally agree with Julie in Ga. This child's diabetes should not change what you do in your classroom or how you interact with him other than some of the good suggestions already made regarding snacks and such.

    You are always going to have students with a mix of needs, learning styles, strengths in your classroom. We are called on as professional educators to understand what students need and then carry on.

    Your biggest questions right now should regard the lack of school nurse. (Is there a nurse somewhere in your district?) With no school nurse, you may want to check with your administration regarding the student's blood sugar checks. He may be able to do this on his own, but it seems to me that the school should be providing him with some private space in which to do this. I'm not thinking in the classroom or the public boys' room is the most appropriate. Also, do they have a plan if he needs insulin? Do you need some 'training' in order to 'be in charge' of this (I ask because we have training on a whole host of medically-related topics: blood borne pathogens, epi-pen delegate training, CPR...)
     
  17. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    We have a student with diabetes in one of our grade 2 classes. We don't have a school nurse, but there is a visiting nurse assigned to come in and test his blood sugar just before he has his lunch. We do, also, have 2 staff members trained in his specific needs re blood testing and insulin just in case the visiting nurse is unable to make it in or is delayed. One of the back rooms in the office is used so that the student has privacy.
     
  18. Noel

    Noel Companion

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    My son has Type 1 Diabetes, he was diagnosed at the ripe old age of 1. (He is 10 now) My husband also has Type 1 he was diagnosed at the age of 8 and is going on his 34th year with Diabetes.

    My son has had a very successful and healthy time in school so far. When I saw this post I sat here and tried to think about why he has made out so well so maybe I could offer some advice that will help you.

    Now my son wears his Diabetes like a badge of honor, he is not shy about it and doesn't try to hide anything related to it. Growing up my husband was the exact opposite. I believe that my son being so open about it has helped him greatly.

    We have been extremely blessed because all of my son's teachers were VERY accepting and open caring and willing to learn all that they could to help him have a successful education career. Our school nurse has become like a family member.

    My biggest advice to you would be to meet with the parents (either in person or over the phone) and find out the symptoms your student will exhibit if he is low or high (blood sugar) my son doesn't always have the "classic symptoms". For example, one time my son told his teacher that "his legs hurt" she had him test and he was extremely low. This is not a classic symptom of low blood sugar, but she just felt that something was off with him and she was right.

    *My son is allowed to test his blood sugar in class if he wants needs to. We have snacks in the classroom in case he is low.
    *I always meet personally with his teacher before school starts and give them a crash course in Diabetes. Just so they know, not because it is their job to manage his Diabetes but hey knowledge is power.
    *I meet with the nurse and the principal as well.
    *I give the school a letter for EVERY teacher in the building about my son that give a very basic overview of who he is, about his disease, and what to look for as symptoms of high and low blood sugar. I also give them one that is appropriate for them to put in their sub folder. These letter have his picture on them as well. I do this so that everyone (adult) in the building will recognize him in an emergency.
    *He has a 504 plan that has the following accomdations: he gets unlimited time on every test. This way if he must stop and test his blood sugar and treat a high or low. This is used mostly for state testing. He is allowed to test and treat a low in the classroom vs. the nurse if necessary, under the supervision of his teacher. He must be accompanied on field trips by the nurse or a parent if the nurse is unavailable. If for some reason he cannot complete his homework due to his diabetes providing a parent contacts the teacher, it is not counted against him. (This has only happened 2 in the past 5 years)

    Our district has a wellness policy that states that parents are not allowed to send in food at anytime (for birthdays etc). Food can be sent in for parties but it needs to be only 1 "sweet treat" and the rest of the food must be fruit, veggies, etc, they can only have water or 100% fruit juice to drink. Teachers are not permitted to give students food/candy as rewards, treats etc. For me this policy has allievated a lot of issues. When there is food at school for parties and such I always make sure that we find out in advance so that I can get the carb counts (this is what we base the amount of insulin my son gets).

    Overall I think the thing to remember about your student is that he is a child 1st and a child with diabetes 2nd. He does everything (eats, plays sports, belongs to clubs, etc) that a child without diabetes does.

    I apologize for going on and on here. I hope that something I said here helps :)

    This coming year I will have a student with diabetes and my son will have a teacher who has diabetes.
     
  19. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Noel, that all makes perfect sense.

    I'm guessing the teachers in your son's school are incredibly thankful for how far you go in making their job easier!!!
     
  20. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I am diabetic and I have also had a diabetic student in my class. We had no school nurse.

    A lot depends on the maturity of the student. You must discuss this with the parents.

    ~ Yes, the child should be able to test anywhere (if he or she is allowed to test alone). Other kids should not be near him.

    ~ Yes, you should keep an emergency snack in the room.

    ~ Ask the parents what he can eat - daily and at parties. He may need to eat more often than the other students.

    ~ Ask how often he usually tests and if/how often he injects.

    ~ Never allow the lancets to lie around. They shouldn't go in the trash can either. You need to put them in an empty milk container. It cannot go in the trash or recycling. The parent should pick it up when full and dispose of it appropriately.

    ~ Know the signs of low blood sugar. Coma can result if it persists at a very low level. (Tired, clammy, dizzy, shaky, heart palpitations, sweating.)

    ~ Diabetics do not moderate temperature as well as others. Be careful of heat stroke. (However, my student was one of the most athletic in our school.)

    ~ He may require insulin to be refrigerated.

    ~ Ask your admin for the school policy for diabetic students.

    ~ Make sure you have an updated contact number for the parent at all times.

    ~ Set up a signal that the child could give you if he is not feeling well - a raised finger, tap on the desk, etc.
     
  21. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    My school has a diabetic student who is in high school, and for the first couple of years after his diagnosis (8th grade, I think), we had a diabetic educator from the hospital come in and talk with the staff about warning signs. Perhaps this is an option for the OP or others without a nurse (we don't have a nurse either).

    My BIL has it, and I have had gestational diabetes twice. A lot of it depends on the individual. When my BIL is low, he gets rather violent. When he's high, which hardly ever happens, he gets really giddy. BUT, he got a pump about 7 years ago and it has changed his life. Much easier to control. Our student also has a pump, and it has changed him into a new person. If the OP's student has a pump, then shots are usually not necessary during the school day. Checking blood is, but today's technology makes it pretty easy and fast.

    When I was pregnant with GD, I checked my blood right in the classroom. When we studied body systems, I just incorporated it right into what we were learning. I know our high school biology teacher had all of our students test their blood (with parent permission of course). It has really become a learning experience.

    As someone else pointed out, it's not about just not eating sugar either. I find that with children, monitoring their activity level is just as important as making sure they don't have a birthday cupcake. If they come in after a rigorous basketball game, that's the time that you want to watch them closely. Stress can also be causes of low episodes.
     
  22. bros

    bros Phenom

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    If the school accepts public funds, they can hire an aide or train you what to do under ADA, because medical issues, such as diabetes, do qualify for a 504.

    Accommodations wouldn't be things like "Extended time", it would be things like "Have staff trained in what to do in emergency situations"

    Watch out for any signs of the sugar being too low or high
     
  23. meeko32198

    meeko32198 Rookie

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    I am diabetic as well and have found a lot of negative conotations are associated with it when students aren't educated about it. During my internship one of the heavier students in my class was eating a fruit roll up at snack time and got harped on from a few of the other students in the class telling her that eating sugar will cause diabetes. My cooperating teacher has a diabetic son as well so we were able to get some information from the JDRF which specializes in Type 1 (most common form you find in children). They sent us all sorts of information for our class.

    I agree with the other post about allowing test materials in the classroom. If you are worried about needles from lancets ask the parents to use one that comes in a drum so there are no spare needles to deal with. It looks like a pen and every time you need to test you press it down and it advances to a new needle.

    I would also check with the parents on symptoms and signs to look for. Like some of the other people have said not all children exhibit signs. One thing I've always had problems with is my numbers tend to drop really low when I exercise. I see this could be an issue for some kids at recess so you may want to have a student eat something before (depending on his plan), or test afterwards.

    Find out any emergency information for the student as well. Do they have a glucagon kit if he passes out? Watch videos on how to use it.

    The biggest thing to remember with a child with diabetes is to treat them like every other child. They will have enough peer comments about their disease that you don't want to make it worse.
     
  24. repete8

    repete8 Companion

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    I meant no disrespect to anyone. I only asked because I know that at my school it will be my responsibility as it was the PK teacher's (she had an aide). In speaking with the PK teacher, they were responsible for charting his meals and figuring how much insulin to give him. The students parents let him eat all snacks brought to class. I was just curious if any teachers out there have had to do this because I know my team of K teachers are nervous about giving shots, charting, etc.
     
  25. SportsFanTr

    SportsFanTr Companion

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    story about my student

    I teach at a private school and found out during our week of inservice that I would have a child with diabetes. Her dad was the main contact and we sat down for over an hour discussing her, what she could / couldn't eat, and just many questions on my side. Please make sure you sit with her parents and just have a frank discussion about him/her.

    The first few days of school were scary for her because she really didn't know me and her levels were all over the place...:eek: I even got scared one day because she was so high, but handled it calmly, called her dad and all was fine. It took a few weeks for us to really get to know each other and for me to understand her normal levels. Each day for the first month I had to do calculations on carbs and levels, but I didn't mind a bit (we don't have a school nurse) and talked to her dad usually 2-3 times a day.

    Also, every other student in the class was extremely supportive of her and understood that she was free to eat anytime needed and go to the bathroom as needed (she didn't like to test in the class, she was very shy). I'll never forget one day when my "rough" student went up to her one day and told her that he was impressed with her and that he thought she was a great person :thumb: - not in those words of course. Even the other kids would notice the time and if neither of us realized they would say its time for "student" to go test herself! They all took care of her and I think she helped the class become a "family" of brothers and sisters.

    The main reason I say all of this though, is I developed a relationship with her closer than any other student I have ever taught. :hugs: On the last day of school we both hugged and I had tears in my eyes letting her go - I think she did too! She knew that I cared all about her and would never let anything happen to her, and we forged a bond that no one can ever take away from us. In fact, I hope that she'll come visit me often next year, and I plan on helping her teacher anytime needed.

    Edited to add: She didn't have to actually take shots, she had a system that was insulin but attached through a cord type thing and we would do a calculation, enter in on her device attached to her waist, and she would be good until the next time to eat. She had very specific times each day to eat whether or not it coincided with our normal class snack / lunch schedule. The first few days were scary, but after that it was just a normal part of both of our routines.
     
  26. LifeLongDream

    LifeLongDream New Member

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    I'm an Pediatric RN and a teacher. Don't be scared. It is fairly easy to handle a diabetic Kiddo.

    1) Know their treatment plan. You get this from the parent/doctor.

    2) Remember this: Hot and dry-Sugar High, Cool and Clammy-Need some candy.

    3) With Diabetes, every thing is a balancing act. Since the child's body is unable to process the glucose (sugar) you have to monitor how much the take in and provide enough coverage (insulin). You should get all of this info from the parent/doctor. It will say if his glucose is 50 (example of low), then give graham cracker with milk. Retest in 15 minutes. If glucose is 150, it may say give 2 units of Humulin R. Insist on the parent or your school administrator having a NURSE come in and show you proper technique for administering his insulin SQ. Good luck to you!

    Have the Doctors # and the Parents # and keep it with you at all times.
     
  27. Touchthefuture

    Touchthefuture Comrade

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    Jul 20, 2010

    I appreciate everyone's replies here.

    Julie in CA - I did not mean to offend anyone or make diabetics appear as problems, I just wanted to know how to prepare for this in the upcoming year. I got some good advice about speaking to parents, finding out do's and dont's, having snacks available,etc. I do have a school nurse so there will be support there as well.
     
  28. DaleJr88AmpFan

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    I hope that my comments did not bother anyone either. I, too, had Gestational Diabetes. I understand what it is like, even for that 2-3mo time period, to be diabetic. Fortunately, my GD was controlled by diet and I did not need insulin.

    The reason that I sent the child to the nurse was because he had been diagnosed during the school year and without my knowledge. He wasn't educated enough nor were his parents and, frankly, neither was I at that point. Each and every time he went to the nurse, I had a buddy walk with him. It was to insure that he was testing correctly, reading the results correctly, and then following through with the correct amount of insulin. Again, he was a child that was LD and math was not a strong suit for him. At first, he would test in my classroom. When I would ask him about his levels and how much insulin he was giving himself, he would "guess" each time. I started tracking his levels and what he was giving for insulin and it varied so greatly that I was honestly scared for this child. We do have a school nurse at school for a couple of hours especially over the noon hour which as perfect as we had PE just before recess and lunch. I also wanted him to learn about the proper procedures of disposing of his materials. The "last straw" was when he decided to test in the hallway and leave his insulin needle laying on the floor. He walked away from it as well his test strip and lancet. And, yes, I did have a drum in my classroom for him.
     
  29. teacherheath

    teacherheath Companion

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    I had a student last year w/ diabetes. He was very open about it, and willing to share w/ the kids about what was going on. Also, they were super supportive and an advocate for him! A few things that have already been mentioned: If s/he needs to go to the nurse, I would not send him/her alone. I had the nurse's cell number. Any time my student was feeling 'off', I called her and she came to him. She carried the supplies and was responsible for the sharps, etc. My student was capable and I did watch him test a time or two, but the norm was that the nurse was there. Also, I'd keep some juice and/or snacks on hand in your classroom for an emergency. My student's mom used to tell me that if there was any doubt, to give him juice. You will get to know your student's signs....for my student, he didn't normally get lethargic when he was low--in fact, sometimes he got busier and more active...however, he was really in tune w/ it and would tell me. Also, my student had a schedule of when he was tested--right around recess time and lunch time, in addition to arrival and departure. I did request healthy snacks when I could (classroom parties), focusing on protein. When a parent did bring in something sugary, I always called the nurse and she adjusted stuff.
     
  30. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Jul 21, 2010

    I have had two: one in 1st grade and one in 2nd grade
    No nurse
    The children did it all, even the recording and just showed me.
    They read which snacks to take and took them.

    If levels were very low or high, I called the parent immediately. One parent came and gave the insulin within minutes. The other, a 1st responder in the building had to give it. This happened about once a month.

    When they seemed sleepy or dizzy, I had them test.

    It REALLY was no big deal.
     
  31. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    We just had TAs in our building trained to test sugars, and they dealt with that. A nurse is really unnecessary in our school, imo.
     
  32. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Was that some kind of Freudian slip, Rabbitt? Haha. I'm sure you meant to say that you had them 'rest' (not test).
     
  33. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jul 21, 2010

    My middle son is a Type I diabetic. Most of what we do has already been posted.

    Of course, talk to the parents. My son's indicators of being "off" are different than some of what's been described. When he's high, he gets frustrated, almost to the point of violence. He becomes very unmanageable. Evil would be a better word. When he's low, he becomes ditzy. Think of every blonde joke you've ever heard. That basically describes it.

    I also send in a book every year. Most years, the teacher has incorperated it into a lesson near the beginning of the school year. I need to dig it out before I can tell you the author's name, but it's just called "Diabetes", and is part of a series designed to explain various health issues in a kid-friendly way. This helps Stuart's classmates understand what's going on and why he has all those needles, and needs to eat more often than the other kids, and why he eats differently than they do.

    On that note, a funny story. When Stuart was in the 1st grade, he had a "girlfriend". This girl was just the sweetest thing in the world. Well, as summertime neared, so did her birthday. I got a call from her aunt (who had custody of her, and took care of her mother due to injuries stustained in a major car accident). Her aunt told me that the girl flat out insisted that there be a second cake that was sugar free, and if there wasn't one, then she wouldn't have a party. You see, if Stuart couldn't have cake, then neither would anybody else, adn she'd rather not have a party at all than leave him out of anything. :wub:
     
  34. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Jul 21, 2010

    I think she meant she had them test their levels...
     
  35. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Jul 21, 2010

    Awww, mm, how sweet!
     
  36. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jul 21, 2010

    Ama...I know...almost makes me wish I'd stayed in Miami, just so I could get her for a daughter-in-law when they grow up.
     

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