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April 21, 2009

School and Daycare

Question from Atlanta, Georgia, USA:

My 10-year-old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of six. He recently got a pump. Due to us getting familiar with the new system, my son has missed more days from school than normal. I always write a note for him to return to school, however, the school is requiring that he have a doctor's note when he misses a day of school. This is very inconvenient and the school is aware of his diabetes. Is there a law or act that deals with this issue or something that states that diabetic related illness are excused if a written note is provided by the parent? Do I have to get a doctor's note every time my son is absent due to his diabetes?

Answer:

While it is common practice for many schools to require a doctor’s note if three or more days are missed in a row, it is unusual to request a fnote or an occasional day missed. Look at the school’s absentee policy and find out what is required of other students who are absent for a day. Also, be sure to write a provision in your child’s 504 plan that excuses your child’s absence – without penalty and with the ability to make up missed assignments – for diabetes related appointments and care/illness. For more information and to discuss your individual situation with ADA’s Legal Advocate, call ADA at 1-800-DIABETES and see the ADA’s web page on School Discrimination.

CJ