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October 22, 2001

School and Daycare

Question from Boca Raton, Florida, USA:

My 14 year old daughter, diagnosed when she was almost 12, has difficulty controlling her blood sugars so she is often sick, has colds and misses a lot of school which has been quite a big problem. I am not in any financial shape to send her to a private school, where I am sure she would benefit, but I do have her in therapy for her anger and acceptance issues. Are there any grants issued for children with type 1 diabetes to attend private high schools?

Answer:

I don’t know of any such grants, and, in any case, it is highly unlikely that sending your daughter to a private school will solve her problems. The majority of young people with diabetes are able to attend public school without much difficulty. However, I do have several suggestions for you:

Take over all all responsibility for your daughter’s diabetes care (injections, blood glucose monitoring, meal planning, etc.). This often alleviates a great a great deal of stress.
If your daughter is not currently being followed in a pediatric diabetes program (which includes physician nurses, dietitians, and behavioral specialists such as a psychologist or medical social worker), have her seen by one to evaluate her current treatment plan and help her find one that matches her lifestyle. Such a team will also be able to assess whatever else is going on that is interfering will her ability to attend school.
Set up a meeting with school personnel (including the school psychologist and a member of your daughter’s diabetes team, if possible) to discuss these problems. You should request that an Individualized Education Plan (which might include tutoring) be developed to assist your daughter with her schoolwork. See The Law, Schools, and Your Child with Diabetes for more information on this topic.

SS