My mother is a 5th grade teacher and she has a Type 1 Diabetic student. I met her a couple of weeks ago and asked her how she took care of her diabetes. She said she only tested 3times a day and her grandmother decided when she should test extra to see if she was high or low. She does not test for snacks (unless they are more than 15g of carbs) or before recess or PE (she is not very active either), she only tests for meals.
My mother had brought her students on a field trip to my university and when I went over to say hi, she had just finished testing (my mother made her test, despite the grandmothers orders that it was not necessary). Her BG was 203mg/L and she wanted to eat a granola bar and fruit juice. She did not have an insulin to carb ratio and no low carb snacks, so I helped her give herself 1.5units of inuslin and by lunch time (1.5hrs later) she was down to 155mg/dL. Unfortunately, my mother got chewed out for not giving her a snack and only giving her insulin... my bad.
Anyway, my mothers biggest concern is that she does not know if this student is high or low in class or if she is acting out. My mother is afraid to push her to hard because she doesn't know if its her T1D that is bothering her or if she is just being a 'kid'. And my biggest concern is that she is not taking care of herself and doesn't know much about her disease. She is going to enter JH next year and she does not have a grasp on her T1D.
Parents with young T1D children, do you have any suggestions about what my mother can suggest to her, her grandmother, the school nurse so that we can help her with her T1D and education? And if she is acting a little odd in class, should she get her BG checked or drink water?
Any suggestion would be great!
I agree that people with T1 (and T2, although that's not the issue here...) should test their BG more. I'm not sure why the grandmother is in charge anyway, maybe they have more standing where this is taking place, but the parents should be calling the shots. If they don't understand the risk they're taking, they should be educated but, if they want, they can say "buzz off" and ignore you. That's sort of creepy that they'd do that but it's hard to estimate how they'd react.
I'm not exactly sure why the grandmother is in charge. I do know she used to be a nurse but I have met PLENTY of nurses that have no idea how to work with T1D. I just honestly want to put her in charge of her T1D, I think that is the best option...but like you said everyone, inculding her, could just tell me to "buzz off" :/
I am not the parent of a young T1 child but I had a mom who was. Mom expected the teacher at school to teach her kids (D or not) according to the curriculum. She did not expect the teacher, or the teacher's own kid for that matter to tell her how to treat her kids diabetes. Now any parent can expect the teacher or school staff to intervene if/when a need comes up. And when possible today a kid should be able to test herself if needed (or not).
I say the Grandmother should get the kid into a T1 class that teaches all the good stuff, about when to test and carb ratios and how to manage day to day,
She is old enough for sure. I never taught my 8 yr old daughter this stuff but she has picked it all up from watching me and asking questions. She likes to remind me to check my sugar and likes to guess how much insulin I will need when I eat.
I think getting the kid educated the sooner the better will be best for her, She is the only one who is “there” All the time.
It sounds like neither the grandmother nor the kid are too concerned about learning more about managing it, testing more to obtain more reasonable results or taking much initiative regarding the situation. I agree w/ Boshra that having been some sort of nurse is not likely to provide any background and I'd take the fact that the "plan" (which still probably has to be filed with the school in some manner?) is to test 3x/ day as evidence that they don't know what they are doing.
I am surprised your mom can even be involved. In the school systems around here, a parent must be present when drugs of any kind are dispensed, even aspirin. There was an article in Diabetic Forecast lately about a young type 1 girl in DC and all the problems Type 1 was causing in her ability to go to school, and most of that had to do with testing (you know, OMG! BLOOD!) taking insulin (we could be held responsible if something happened!) Even when I was in school in the 60s, my testing and other supplies were in the Nurses offoice and I had to go there.
Personally, this is something the administration may need to address, but as AR said, if she or her family want to do it this way, it is up to them. Your mom should treat her as she would any other student and treat the "acting out' not the diabetes.
I thought the DF story was that the mom did *not* have to be involved and that the district had to suck it up and take care of the kid how the mom wanted. But, if the mom/ grandma is 1) not interested in pushing the care envelope and 2) perhaps this is encouraging the kid to use diabetes as a "lever", playing the D card to camoflage acting up, etc. the district/ teachers/ staff may be stuck between a rock and a hard place. I can't see that ending well for the kid in the long run but maybe when they get away from grandma, things will change?
Assuming your mother is a teacher in a public school, I am a little surprised that this child is allowed to administer insulin on her own (i.e., without the supervision of a nurse). That seems a little odd to me, because usually schools supervise this process (at least, that's my understanding).
Anyway, your mother should express her concerns to whoever is the school nurse or nurse assistant. I would assume that the nurse/nurse assistant has some contact with the family, and the child should have a 504 plan as well. That plan should reflect when/how often testing is done in school.
Also, keep in mind that for a growing child, a BG of 203 isn't horrible. Children can withstand highs much better than adults, and lows are actually more dangerous for brain development. This is why kids generally have more generous ranges for BGs (80-180) compared to adults who need their ranges a bit tighter.
Well my mother doesn't put her in a corner and tries not to stress her out. My mother just isn't sure how to deal with her acting out. She has seen me say 'weird' or 'stupid' stuff when I am high or low so she is just concerned that her student is high or low at these moments too.
My mother pushes her students to always do their absolute best and she is the only teacher in her school concerned with health....
Apparently there is a younger student at my mothers school is very involved in his diabetes and goes to the nurses office to get his BG checked as often as possible. I think this young girl is just really embarrassed about having T1D and doesn't want to deal with... I don't know.
But thank you. I will have my mother look into T1D educational classes in the area where the young girl lives...
All her supplies are in the nurses office and she goes there to test and give herself shots... the one time she gave herself insulin was when I was there on the field trip because no one else who knew about T1D was there. So I stayed and made sure she didn't crash.
ok, I will tell my mother to just focus on the acting out and not the T1D.
Thank you for the advice everyone.
I will tell my mother to try and help find diabetes educational classes for her student and also just to deal with the acting out like she would with any other student.
I forgot to mention that my mothers student does go to the nurse to have her BG tested and to take her insulin. On the day that they came on the field trip, neither the nurse nor the grandmother came so my mother asked me to help her out.
However, before my mother got involved with her students T1D, her student did not bring insulin or a meter to school with her. Also, my mothers student wanted to go on the field trip and not bring any insulin or testing supplies (my mother wouldn't let her come unless she brought her supplies).
3x a day may be all they can afford! And saying they don't know what they are doing is very possibly not true. We don't "know" anything and we sure should not assume anything about grandmother or kid. Sheesh!
I live in a place where a kid can go to school with her glucose machine and supplies and insulin pen or pump and take care of herself if she has the skill and ability. And the way to manage her D is decided by parent(or custodian) / kid / doctor.
Ditto Spock on the comment "Your mom should treat her as she would any other student and treat the "acting out' not the diabetes." Right on.