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July 25, 2003

School and Daycare

Question from Mulberry, Indiana, USA:

My grandson recently went on an insulin pump. We are so excited for him because his numbers are lower, and his life is so much more flexible. However, my husband and I, as well as my son and his wife, are concerned about the school nurse who treats him like he is a hospital patient and constantly says what she would do if this would be a hospital setting. There are some days when she calls him to her office seven or more times, and she has the teachers scared to death. She claims the pump is more structured, and the parents just don't understand. She won't take my daughter-in-law's word for anything, explaining she doesn't understand. When the doctor does give the orders, the nurse says she doesn't agree with him, that he just doesn't understand the school setting. My son and daughter-in-law understand diabetes extremely well but don't know what to do. The nurse has a form paper that she insists they sign about his care. They don't want to go with a 504, as they want him to be responsible for his diabetes. He knows how to bolus, but the nurse doesn't trust him. Do you have any suggestions as to how to approach the school and make them understand they need to calm down and let my daughter-in-law and son educate them on diabetes? The principal and teachers do whatever the nurse tells them.

Answer:

This nurse appears to be very controlling! It sounds to me like it is time for your grandson’s parents to ask for a 504 meeting which includes the parents, school representatives, and hopefully your grandson’s doctor or other member of his diabetes team. Such a document will outline explicit responsibilities of your grandson, his parents, the school, and the diabetes team. Each involved party signs the document, and it becomes part of permanent record. See The Law, Schools, and Your Child with Diabetes.

SS