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December 22, 2004

Behavior, School and Daycare

Question from Denver, Colorado, USA:

My son has had type 1 diabetes for over two years. He just started kindergarten and his behavior is horrible. He has issues keeping his hands to himself, is defiant, and has mood swings. I notice that his sugars during these times can be low or high. Do you have any help for me on how to control these behaviors? I love my son very much and the school is talking about putting him on a 504 plan. I don't want him to be "labeled" as a behavior problem.

Answer:

I would strongly encourage you to work closely with your son’s diabetes team. Their psychologist and social worker can help you advocate for his schooling needs. A 504 plan is a plan that accommodates children’s needs if they have a medical condition that needs to be cared for during school hours. It does not label children as behavior problems.

If your son has a blood sugar that is lower than 70 mg/dl [3.9 mmol/L] during the school day, then his behavior may very likely change. The solution is to be sure he does not go low during the school day. It is unlikely that high numbers are impacting his behavior.

JWB