Joan Wadian of Massillon, Ohio, was glad that her 14-year-old son’s school had a good school nurse. Collin has type 1 diabetes, as well as Down’s syndrome. He cannot self-manage his diabetes, so someone at school needs to be available to make sure he stays safe during the day.
But even with a full-time nurse at school, Joan found gaps in his care. When the nurse was out, there was nobody to be a back-up. Joan then had to go to the school to provide Collin’s diabetes care. Also, the school did not provide care for field trips. It was expected that Joan would simply make room in her schedule to attend those trips.
Joan was worried. What would happen if Collin needed help and she and the school nurse were not available?
Joan Contacted the American Diabetes Association
She quickly learned that children with diabetes have many rights, and an Association Legal Advocate provided important information that helped Joan understand those rights. She then requested that the school set up an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting to work out how to fill in the gaps for Collin’s care.
Collin is Now Safer at School
The school responded right away. School staff and all of Collin’s teachers would get diabetes care training. They would hire substitute nurses when the regular nurse was out, and field trips would now be covered.
Collin is now 15 and in his first year of high school, in the same school district. The high school nurse, as well as teachers, school staff, bus drivers and others involved with Collin’s school day, have been trained in diabetes care.
Joan says, “Thanks to you and the American Diabetes Association, Collin has the best and safest possible care when he attends school. I wish all parents caring for children with diabetes were aware of their rights.”
To learn more about our Safe at School campaign and how you can help keep your child with diabetes medically safe, visit http://diabetes.org/safeatschool or call 1-800-DIABETES for information and help.