College SAT issues getting approval number. Advice anyone

Hi there experienced T1 community.
My son (Type 1) is signing up to take his first round of SAT tests for college and from what his school counselor has communicated with us it has been quite a process.In fact it has taken her since January to get the process figured out and for the last 10-12 days she tells me his status is still under review. I had visited the College Board site and realized the school counselor had to provide information to them before we would be assigned a number to use to actually register to take the test with concessions for a medical disability.Has anyone had similar experience with SAT? I feel like there should be a category specifically for Type 1 on the SAT web site because all diabetics should be allowed time if they experience a low and need to deal with it and not be penalized for time infraction, if they do. What are your thoughts?

Thank you! Kirsty

I would think that it would be a routine request and should be granted even if there’s no specific section on their web site. But they sure do take their sweet time doing things. What is the deadline for registration? That will probably determine how much you should worry. I wish I could be more helpful, but I didn’t seek accommodations for the SAT. For the GRE it was actually very simple, you just called the testing center ahead to let them know and you could bring your meter/glucose tabs/insulin though that was when the tests were just starting to go computerized and things might be stricter now.

Never looked into the disability and the SAT. Is your son a Junior or an underclassmen?

What I did years ago that worked and that I would recommend. Run a little bit high (175ish), it gave me some room in case you crash. With big exams and extreme thinking you may never know exactly how your BG will react. If he goes low, correct for it, do the best he can and cross your fingers.

Also when I took the SAT you were allowed to retake as much as possible, is this still so? If you are still allowed to retake as much as you want then just re-do the test if he has any hypos. Get him to start taking it early in case he wants or needs a second shot at it.

Yes, of course your son should be allowed this. Does he have a 504 in place at his school? Usually they will put T1’s in a separate room with other kids requiring accomodations and the clock is stopped if he needs to treat a low. Sounds like you might need to make some phone calls. Call your endo and get a letter outlining the accomodations he needs.

I’m in my last year of high school and we don’t have an SAT test but something equal to it here in SA ,I just took it a week ago and I was worried what it would be like with diabetes and all,but apparently I had nothing to worry about,I took it in the morning,had my breakfast,I was high before the test -250-
I know I should’ve told the examiner-which I forgot to-but I had some chocolate in pockets and my meter was in the purse under the chair,I didn’t need to be excused,but I saw someone else who had and they stopped the watch for her,while everyone was done,she was still writing,she seemed a bit swollen so I just concluded that she was sick,I don’t know if this helps.
I don’t how SATs work but I think they wouldn’t be that different,you should send a letter or an e-mail on their website to ask and take it from there,they should tell you who to ask.

Being a T1, and having gone through the SAT myself 30 years ago as a T1 (as well as a bazillion other tests), at some point I have to just prepare myself for the test and do what I can to make sure I don’t go low.

Yes, I know that sometimes lows come up out of nowhere and whap me in the head, but realistically I can manage to get through a couple hour meeting or couple hour test or couple hour hike with at most a “midcourse correction” that as far as everybody else can tell, was nothing more than a bathroom break.

There are breaks in the SAT.

The one issue that has changed since 30 years ago, is many electronic devices are pretty much summarily banned from the test room. Cellphones and blackberries and edigital cameras sure didn’t exist when I was a kid :-). Some meters might be mistaken for a cellphone. They aren’t gonna strip-search your son or anything, but unobtrusive would be the operative word. Having a CGM or pump alarm start howling in the middle of the test would not be good.

I took the SAT about 3 years ago, and I didn’t find the process to be too difficult, although I don’t remember exactly what I had to do. I might have even gotten my doctor to write a note, but it could’ve just been the letter my parents wrote. To be honest, I don’t remember my counselor getting involved at all, but then again, I never found my high school counselors to be very helpful…

Anyway, when it came time to take the test, I was in a room with the testing administrator and one other boy, so I guess it was just the 2 of us who applied for concessions. It was really, weird, to be quite honest, because the lady didn’t time us at all, I don’t think, and she just let us leave when we were done, which was nice because I’m a fast test taker. I took my meter and food in with me and my blood sugar was pretty stable the whole time. It turned out to be much less of a hassle than I thought it would.

The only problem that I ran into was that I couldn’t find my name on any of the classrooms lists, because I didn’t see the other list that was set aside for students w/ disabilities. So for a couple seconds, I panicked and thought the registration never went through! :stuck_out_tongue:

Good luck to your son and I’m sure he’ll do fine! :slight_smile:

Thanks for the advice everyone!
YES they have gotten a bit strict with things. I am sure he will make it through the test fine but I wanted to make sure we have covered the bases IF he needs to attend to a low. BTW he is finishing his junior year and many colleges need the SAT score for their application (which are due between Nov and Feb depending on where you apply). I did learn that once all paper work has been turned in it can take up to 7 weeks for a response, so we are feeling a bit stressed. Our plan was to take the SAT in June and if needed again in the Fall. Maybe it would have been best not to apply for concessions but I like to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
I am sure it will all work out fine, I just had no idea the process would be like it is.
Best to all of you.

personally, i would prefer to be treated like everyone else; just letting them know that i may need to test and or eat to cover a low. Sometimes i think that too much special accomodation for each various handicap is excessive. I kinda like the melting pot. When he grows up, he will need to blend in with the rest of society without special accomodation. We all need to try to blend in as best we can.

Yes, that is our usual choice of action, we have never asked for special “treatment” for anything, until this. nice. But the deal is, there is a lot of pressure to perform on the SAT (which is a timed by section test) to get into college. This is a room full of students and the clock can’t be stopped for him to “deal” with a situation, technically he can’t bring in any snacks to the testing room. So I feel like we need to plan for the worst and hope for the best.
From the College Board:What are the guidelines for snacks during the SAT?

Snacks may be consumed during breaks, but generally they are not permitted to be eaten in the testing room. However, students with a medical need may request permission to eat or drink during the test as an accommodation.

that sounds like a reasonable accomadation

I was going to write what would have been a very long post about why accommodations are necessary for people with disabilities and why “blending in” is not always possible or even good. However, I think you ought to find a way to see this movie:

HAMILL - Official Teaser from Hamill the Movie on Vimeo.

The movie makes the point I would have tried to make far more eloquently than I ever could.

Good video clip. I had a deaf friend in high school whose parents didn’t “believe” in signing & wanted him to assimilate. He lip read in Spanish & English & spoke both languages. He blended in somewhat, but was unhappy not being able to fully communicate. He was isolated & lonely.

I’d never use diabetes as an excuse, but don’t hesitate to ask if I need a special accommodation.

Well, I am neither a T1 nor taking the SAT, however I am on MDI insulin and doing marathon job interviews. Some of these interviews involve 3 or 4 hours of back-to-back meetings with three or four or five people at a time throwing question after question after me. I have to be poised and “on” the entire time.

I don’t want to appear fragile or “diseased” so my solution has been to snack before I go, bring my own bottled water, not worry too much about running a bit high (>200 is OK for me going in) and (this is very important) make sure that I get PLENTY of sleep the two nights before one of these “big interview” days. So far, so good. I haven’t had to request the ladies room to test/treat yet.

I also avoid caffeine like the plague before these shindigs. It interferes with sleep, makes me hyper-anxious and gives me motor-mouth – I want them to think I’m smart and verbally skilled, not having a manic episode. :wink:

I bring up the caffeine (even though your son is young) because sometimes kids think “coffee!” as the go-to solution when they’re preparing for big tests. However, I learned from my niece’s experience that this can be a very, very bad idea: she was prepping for her MCATS (pre-med tests) and she drank so much caffeine in the 48 hours before her test that she had a break-down in her health (palpitations, breathing problems) – she had to cancel her test and wait months for the next scheduled round. Caffeine can be toxic, especially in young people who aren’t used to pacing themselves with it. She aced the next round but missing the first round meant that if she’d blown the second one (flu or whatever), she wouldn’t have had a chance to re-test for an entire year. She felt pretty silly after putting her entire future at risk over a few cups of java.

thanks for posting the clip,very good.

I believe in blending as well,I don’t like to be treated differently at all, but different times call for different measures, and SATs are definitely one of them.

I dont disagree that accomodations for some disabilities are necessary but we should not demand more than we need. And iam not suggesting hiding t he illness nor am i suggesting that we should demand a special room or a special monitor during something like a test. The more that we can blend into society, the better we are. I dont want to be known as the diabetic getting special things because i am diabetic. I want to be known as the diabetic who can do what every one else can for the most part. I dont want extra time. Its my responsibility to manage the disease and get my job done. If we have things that we are not capable of doing, we should be accomodated but otherwise we should be treated just like anyone else. Iy may be different in earlier years when the kids need more help, but soon this individual will enter the real world and will need to stand on own 2 feet

That’s what people are saying. Asking for what they need. Accommodations, if needed, are made in the real world workplace for people with diabetes. Doesn’t mean someone isn’t standing on his/her own two feet.

Looks like a good story. Thanks!

Again, thanks for the thoughts and support. My frustration was not so much about the accommodation as it is about the process for type 1 to get approval… 7 weeks? I am sure they have requests fairly consistently from Type 1 and understand what the situation might call for, or maybe I am thinking too much in generalities.