February 23, 2002
School and Daycare
Question from Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA:
I am a 17 year old male with type�1 diabetes and my school district has put a very strict attendance policy in to place that limits absences to five per trimester, but my diabetes causes me to miss more than this by quite a few. This causes problems with my school credits and may become a legal issue if it is not resolved. Do you have and input or advice?
I think you have a couple of resources that you will want to explore. I understand the situation well as we have similar attendance policies where I practice also, but, in general, a doctor’s excuse or a letter from your doctor to the school or school board generally suffices. This assumes that your absences are indeed due to going to the doctor for routine general diabetes care. This would be expected to occur once every three to four months.
I wouldn’t understand why you would miss more unless your diabetes is in poor control. If so, a doctor’s excuse for each absence when you went to the doctor should still suffice, but I would worry about your overall diabetes care. Anticipated prolonged school absences due to illness can sometimes be addressed by arranging home-bound schooling through the school district. Some children’s hospitals also have arrangements for a public school teacher keep children’s studies up to date.