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February 21, 2002

School and Daycare

Question from Wellman, Texas, USA:

My nine year old son has had type 1 diabetes for two years. Our problem is that lately his grades are dropping, and his teacher and I became concerned. He has problems sitting still for duration of the afternoons and isn't a distraction to anyone else, but he does have an issue with concentration. His teacher said that he is smart, but we cannot figure out why his math score would drop from a 97 to a 79 in three weeks' time. He becomes very frustrated and borderline "stressed out" every afternoon. I contacted his diabetes educator who gave us a referral to a psychologist. Is this common practice? I felt like they were sort passing the buck. Is a psychologist a rational solution to a problem that is so new?

Answer:

I think that seeing a psychologist is actually a great idea. A psychologist may be able to help him find creative solutions to bringing those scores up and further, look into identifying if there are any other stressors that could be contributing to the problems you’re seeing at school. Certainly, the pressures of having diabetes can also contribute to difficulty in school, and a good psychologist will be able to assist him if that is contributing to his current struggle.

MSB