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September 19, 2000

Hypoglycemia

Question from Indiana, USA:

I am a third grade teacher who with a student whose mother says he has hypoglycemia. He eats before he comes to school about 7:00 am, eats a snack at 10:30 am, eats lunch around 12:00 pm, and is home by 2:00 pm. I will tell you this student does not always have the best behavior. The student will continually talk out in class, has hit other students, and will make noises during class. The student also has frequently forgot to do homework and has poor listening skills. His mother told me that since this student has hypoglycemia, I cannot expect the student to remember what he is supposed to be doing or remember to do his homework. She said that the blood sugars get so low, that it affects his memory. I did ask her to give me a note from the student's doctor, and she declined to do so. I am not a doctor, and I will admit I do not know much about hypoglycemia. Please help me understand if this is appropriate behavior for a hypoglycemic child, so I can make adjustments for this child.

Answer:

I would treat this as you would any child having difficulty in the classroom situation. Specifically, an appropriate evaluation needs to be done, if not already done, to assess the child’s learning and psychosocial and medical needs. From your note, it does not sound as though this child has a diagnosis of diabetes, and you would need to get further information on the child’s medical condition.

LM