Justin Delgado is husband to Kacie Doyle-Delgado, diagnosed at age 11. After more than a decade together, he considers himself to be an expert carb counter and Dexcom inserter. He graduated with his Master of Science in Finance from the University of Utah in 2013 and has been working in commercial banking since then. He attended his first Friends for Life conference in 2015 and is looking forward to volunteering with the teens.
September 23, 2003
School and Daycare
Question from North Andover, Massachusetts, USA:
Our seven and a half year old daughter, diagnosed seven months ago, is in the second grade and would like to demonstrate how she checks her glucose to her classmates. Her teacher thinks that this is a great idea, but the school nurse and principal feel this is an invasive procedure that seven to eight year olds should not see and have agreed to allow her to discuss how the meter works with no demonstration. At some point in the future, she may be able to do an actual demonstration, after parents are notified so as they can determine whether they want their child to witness the presentation. My husband and I want as much education as possible because this elementary school now has 3 children with type 1 diabetes. We feel that any information her classmates can glean helps to make diabetes less frightening to them and helps them understand that she is no different than they are, a normal seven year old child. Do you have any suggestions on what is appropriate for children in this age group? Are there resources that could assist me in providing the school with information on what a second grader can handle?
It’s commendable that your daughter wants to demonstrate blood glucose monitoring, and I believe this should be encouraged. Particularly since there are three children in the school with type 1 diabetes, I think, at some point, your daughter’s classmates will see this anyway. It seems to me that knowing it is a pretty straightforward, painless task, might make this less alarming in the future. Ironic I think, that your daughter appears to handle it well. However, I can somewhat understand the concerns of the nurse and principal. There are several options:
Your daughter could demonstrate her meter using control solution rather than actually sticking herself. She could put a drop of the solution on her finger (or arm) and perform the whole procedure. Perhaps she might even pretend to stick herself using the lancet device without a lancet. This would allow her classmates to see how it works and alleviate the concerns.
You could contact the parents of her classmates and the other children with diabetes yourself to gain support. Parental signatures and assent would go a long way in helping further your cause.
You could ask someone on your daughter’s diabetes team to assist you and/or intervene with school officials on your behalf.
There are numerous excellent resources for children this age. For some suggestions, please see Books and Videos for Children and Teens.