I almost feel guilty posting this, knowing what some of you have been trhough in getting your schools to be responsive to the needs of your type 1 child (or your own type 1 condition), but...
Kevin came home yesterday and said his teacher said he can bring his DS and Transformers into school in case he's not feeling well enough to go to "specials" (gym, music, library, art, computer). He's been running low, and I think they may be concerned about him dropping during activity.
The school has been great, and so very accomodating and communicative, and I know that this is well-meaning, but....are they being too accomodating to his whims and not actual needs?
My kids aren't in school yet, but I can see where you're coming from. You don't want your son to be singled out and you certainly don't want him to think he has an easy way out anytime he doesn't want to participate. (The DS alone would be inspiration to opt out of other activities.)
I'm not fully understanding why library and computer would be an issue when he can sit down and read a book or something.
I guess I don't have much actual advice for the situation, but I would suggest having a meeting with the teacher and address her concern of him going low, how to prevent lows, and maybe more "productive" solutions for when he has to miss out on something.
Yes and no. I mean he has to have something to do if he is low and specials are fun. He should have some fun when he cant do what everyone else is doing but I would save it only for PE not the other things. Let his teacher know even if he is low he can sit on a computer or read a book during library. Just keep communicating with them as much as they do with you.
Talking with the teacher and expressing your concerns is going to be the best way to handle it.
When my blood sugars are low, I can't read and it's nearly impossible for me to concentrate or focus on a single task. However, my symptoms typically go away fairly quickly after treating, so he may not need to miss an entire 'special' anyway. How long are your specials classes? He may only need to miss a few minutes of it, until his BGs come back up. If he, for whatever reason, can't participate in the special, it would be more beneficial for him to have something educational to occupy himself with, as opposed to just playing with his figurines. You don't want him to feel left out or get "special" treatment, so having him do something related to school might help alleviate that.
Gym would be the only potentially tricky specials class. If his BG is low, then he goes about running around immediately after it's treated, you might just end up back at square one. However, maybe he can still participate by blowing a whistle, or collecting vests, helping put basketballs away, or something that will keep him involved, but not drop his sugars.
Thank you. I think that some of it is worry, and I agree that with gym we need to be careful. The one teacher really loves him and seems to want to spoil him. I'll talk to her and find a balance. The good news is that we have a great relationship, so I think she'll be responsive to my concerns.
Oh..wow yeah I know what you mean. If I tell my teacher I'm not feeling well and it has nothing to do with my diabetes they freak out and send at least two people with me. I think they might be a little over accomodating but I think its mostly because they're not used to it and don't really know how to deal with something if anything were to happen to him? Its understandable but make sure if you meet them during parent-teacher conferences that you let them know that you understand why they are so worried about him but that if hes not feeling well that he would let them know.
I know every situation is different and my son is much older... so really totally different. However, when the school suggested they would excuse him from various things, red flags went up. I mean really if he is going to be at school I want him IN CLASS learning right along with everyone else. I think that if there ever is a time where he can't fully participate then hopefully him being attentive to what is going on should be educational right? My only concern at the younger age is that you set a precedent that may develop into the expectation of being able to not participate as he gets older. Hopefully he will want to stay in class as much as possible.
I agree to talk to the teacher to make sure she understands everything he CAN do. But, I have to put my two cents in to thank her too! (: It sounds like she really cares about your son. So much better than the stories I hear on here about teachers who couldn't care less. I'd rather my child be loved at school and deal with the details later.
PS, What's a DS? Apparently, I would not be among the cool kids in elementary school. (;
I'll echo the advice others have said to you on this thread. Have a frank talk with Kevin's teacher(s). You don't want them to enable Kevin to feel that diabetes is a disability that he can't overcome. Sometimes you have to learn to gut through things even though you don't feel 100%. He won't get a break from everyone else in the real world.
well i think the "special"teachers should know what to do in case of an emeregency and the only activity that he shoudnt participate in when hes low is gym... also with bring his ds and tansformers arent the best idea.. he may use them as a way to get out of activities and as he gets older he may not be allowed to bring them to school and then you run into a totally new problem... also what makes these "specials" different than other subjects like math or whatever
also this prob doesnt concern you so much now but when he gets into highschool/ middle school and things start counting more he should test before he takes test.. if hes low he may not preform as well
I agree. I will absolutely not send in toys to school. If he needs to rest, he can rest, but toys will just encourage him to "fake it" so he can play. My husband has talked to the teacher, and I've talked to the school nurse. We're trying to figure out when he's faking it and when it's for real. I think we're making progress.
I love that you're willing to concede that your son MIGHT be faking! Awareness is key. As others have said, I would talk to the teachers. I used to be just like your son (I wasn't offered toys and such but if given the opportunity to avoid running the mile, I would take it)- my parents refused the school's tendency to want to avoid the drama that went along with my low blood sugars so they just let me avoid physical exertion. That is, until my parents said, "ABSOLUTELY NOT!" That forced me to exercise and it was healthy overall. I think you've got a great attitude. You know your son best- if you think he may be using diabetes as a way to avoid activities he doesn't enjoy, definitely step in and tell the school NOT to enable him. As a teacher, I always appreciate it when a parent lets me know when I'm being suckered. Sometimes teachers mean well but make really poor decisions. Tell the school about your concerns- don't be afraid to be insistent if the school feels they know better. You live with your child and you understand his needs. The school may want to lessen the likelihood of drama (i.e. the kind that accompanies low blood sugar) but this avoidance technique is not necessarily in the best interest of your child. Don't be afraid to speak up- I swear, teachers/administrators appreciate the feedback.
My son is only in daycare (he's 2), but his teachers are ON-BOARD in a big way. They want to be educated about diabetes and what lows look like. My concern for you, which is the same for me, is that if he's been having lows, they need to recognize them (by him telling them or by checking his sugars) and treat. Have you considered changing his ratios? Lows can put him in a coma or seizure, and my intent is not to insult your intelligence, but THEY need to know that.
My daycare provider, and I'll tell you I'm sooooo lucky, is T1D. She checks his sugars. No one gives a bolus except my husband and I, but she does check his sugars. The other provider, who doesn't have diabetes, also checks. I've spent many hours and months with them, educating them on his target and what it looks like for him to be low and high. They can see the difference now and we talk about his day every single time we talk. He is not treated differently and checking his sugar takes 1 minute.
As a rule, even if they don't check his sugar, but they think he's low, they give him a quick 2 oz of apple juice. He perks right up and carries on with his day. Could the teacher check his BG? If the school won't allow that, is your son old enough to tell her that he's low? Could she then give him a small amount of juice? That amount would be what you would give him based on what you know about how he reacts to fast acting juice.
I think if she cares about him, she is probably willing to be even more educated. Once she finds out more info, she'll probably be more brave and more aggressive with his lows.
Good luck and I'm glad that you have at least one person who cares. That's better than 0!
That's great that you have good support too. I've read so many posts about uncooperative schools! My son gets tested very frequently at school, so if he gets low, he's corrected quickly. We keep juice and skittles at school to cover the lows.