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diabetic children in school

(27 Posts)
busybee20 Mon 26-Nov-12 16:27:59

To any parents/teachers/heads, i would like to know if you have any diabetic children in your school and if so how do you care for them. Sadly my dd has been diagnosed type 1. Her school has no experience with diabetic children. I am working on a care plan and would like suggestions, i e does your school assign a T.A to the child? What happens during lunchtime, playtimes etc. Type 1 requires regular finger pricking and insulin administration. Thanks in advance for any help. A nervous mother.

mrz Mon 26-Nov-12 16:35:47

We have a number of type 1 diabetic children in school. The care plan was drawn up with parents, the diabetes nurse, school nurse, SENCO and class teacher.
Initially parents wanted to come in for prick tests but now the children manage their own and report the reading to the class teacher who will decide what action to take. We don't administer insulin.

busybee20 Mon 26-Nov-12 16:42:49

Thanks mrz, can i ask how old the youngest child is?

mrz Mon 26-Nov-12 16:44:57

The youngest is now four and in reception but she was still three in nursery when she was diagnosed

BackforGood Mon 26-Nov-12 16:46:35

What Mrz said.
I've had children in my class, or indirectly under my care as SENCo with diabetes over the years.
Specifically - re the TA. No, they wouldn't have a TA 'assigned' to them, if by that you mean looking after them all the time, but 'yes' the diabetes nurse specialist will come in and show some staff how to do the finger prick test so they can supervise the child (always a good idea to ensure that it isn't just one person in case they are out on a trip or off sick). Generally (you've not posted the age of your child) but generally the diabeties nurses encourage the children to be as independent as they are able.
The Care Plan should be drawn up by someone 'medical' in conjunction with the parent and the school (and pupil if they are considered able).
Play times, lunch time not generally an issue - the lunchtime supervisers would know that your child was diabetic and come and seek advice if they have any concerns. The cooks would have notification your child is diabetic and will not let them have what they shouldn't be eating.
Always worth parents going in and checking any new staff are comfortable with and know about the diabetes as they change classes or are being covered by someone for a while. Although the theory is all info will get passed on, I always advised parents to check up on us - we'd rather be told stuff we already know, than somehow have it missed smile

simpson Mon 26-Nov-12 20:09:24

DD's best friend in reception is diabetic and I know there is one other boy in yr2.

The diabetic nurse went in to train the staff (the girl in DD's class has 3 teachers or TAs who can give her injections or do prick tests incase one is sick).

She has just been fitted with an insulin pump which makes things much easier and her parents are going in at lunch times (just for this week - it was fitted last week to make sure things run smoothly).

With regards to lunch,her parents work out everything (packed lunch) and write it down so it is easy to work out the dosage dependant on what she has eaten.

cumbrialass Mon 26-Nov-12 20:16:09

I have a boy in my class who was diagnosed in year 3. Parents send in his carb intake for his packed lunch, he does the prick test, the reader calculates the insulin required and we check the dosage is correct before he injects himself. All staff receive training every year but as class teacher I and my TA take the main responsibility for him. If he is low he is pretty good at recognising and we provide him with the intake he needs ( usually coke!). On the recent residential we calculated the carb intake from a book he has. Any problems we phone parents to discuss.

pinkpeonies Mon 26-Nov-12 20:16:57

Hello, My DD has Type One and was diagnosed age 1. She moved from 5 injections to an insulin pump aged 2 and is thriving. As a teacher myself I didn't want to leave her care down to "goodwill" alone and so applied to the LA for them to carry out a statutory assessment of her needs. We were able to prove that her blood sugars affect her educationally and therefore a 1-1 was needed at least in her early years/KS1. We got 20 hours topped up to 30 by the school and she has done brilliantly.

I am sorry to hear of your child's diagnosis, Type One is an invisible condition but the effect of blood sugars on cognition, concentration and behaviour must never be underestimated by teachers and support staff.

pinkpeonies Mon 26-Nov-12 20:18:24

Cumbria lass, you sound like a fabulous, caring teacher. It must give that child's parents huge reassurance to have you as his teacher.

busybee20 Mon 26-Nov-12 23:22:38


busybee20 Mon 26-Nov-12 23:28:51

Thanks everyone for your posts. cumbria - you really sound like a caring teacher that will gotje extra mile, well done. pink - so sorry your dd was diagnosed so young. How did you prove that blood sugar levels affect concentration etc?

pinkpeonies Tue 27-Nov-12 19:37:36

Hi again,

Well we built up a evidence from a range of sources including observations from her nursery teacher, the EP came in and observed her (she had a nasty low that day so the impact on her learning was undeniable). We also had the support of her consultant and DSNs and a range of studies to cite. We are not an exceptional case either. I run a local Type One Support group and all bar 2 of the children have statements or medical needs funding. Insulin pump therapy which is the favoured treatment option now is amazing but it is impossible for children to manage it themselves at primary level. My DD is now in Y2 and does her own finger pricks and button presses but she still needs an adult to assist her with carb counting, treating hypos, correcting highs etc and sometimes her hypo awareness is better than others. Please shout if I can help xx

cumbrialass Tue 27-Nov-12 19:44:17

Gosh,I don't think I do anything special, just care for a child in my class! My LA don't give out statements for diabetes ( as far as I am aware) unless there are serious educational consequences. So we all do what is needed. Luckily they child is very good at self administering so we just check all the calculations and details and deal with any highs and lows. We have a child with a pump joining soon, he is younger and requires more support, when he needs it we will just make sure he gets it!

LeeCoakley Tue 27-Nov-12 19:58:40

At our infants' school a care plan was set up and 4 of us volunteered to share a rota for the lunchtime insulin injections. The child did the prick test and depending on the result he either ate first then came back for the insulin or had the insulin first. Any unusual results from the prick test we contacted mum for further instructions. The class teacher and TA were aware of symptoms for concern and mum sent in notes if the morning prick test had been outside the normal range. She provided a supply of coke and biscuits and also treats for when he couldn't share in the class treats. We kept records of everything we did and the family were very grateful. Apparently it is or was unusual for schools to administer insulin. Good luck.

busybee20 Wed 28-Nov-12 01:09:59

Pink - which part of uk are you from? I think funding from LA can vary depending on where you live.

harlowqueen Wed 28-Nov-12 09:48:03

I just wrote a really long message but it got deleted. Anyhow-- go check out

It really helped me in my control and, as a parent, it would be reassuring to know that my child would have information about whether they are going high or low, and also have the ability to review the data to see what was happening when they were at school and I couldn't be with them-- especially in the early stages.

Good luck

ByTheWay1 Wed 28-Nov-12 09:52:58

From past experience, it is not primary school you need to worry about - it is when they reach the teenage years and it is not cool to keep doing the readings - so many kids set themselves up for illness and misery due to bad habits as teenagers....

OxyMoron Wed 28-Nov-12 10:01:06

Sorry to hear about your ds's diagnosis.
How old is your dd? Mine is 4 (diagnosed as a baby) and does need 1:1 TA support. The school & consultant both agree on this. There is plenty of evidence of how both low & high blood sugar affect cognitive function, and it is known that children with T1 suffer educationally if not suppoted well at school.
The thing is, diabetes is very individual and different children will need different levels of support.

Have a look here for info & support.

kpandthesunshineband2 Wed 28-Nov-12 11:07:38

Hi busybee,
I posted on your thread on childrens health. Definitely get yourself on the CWD email discussion list. If you ask on there there will be a whole load of people who can advise on school issues as lots of us have been through all sorts of problems. There will be lots of great advice about looking for funding & statements.
I think you said your child was quite young & I think it is really important that she gets 1.1 care which may need funding. It seems there is a huge variation in how well schools handle this situation!
My son was 8 at diagnosis & his school have a full time school nurse so a different situation.
At the risk of being boring get yourself over there!

lakeofshiningwaters Wed 28-Nov-12 13:42:44

Hi Busybee,

Sorry to hear about your daughter. Theres's definitely some lovely school staff out there who will go the extra mile and help your dd, however as it shouldn't be left to pot luck, make sure you (and the school might already be doing this) get in touch with the Specialist Diabetic nurse, and also the school nurse (although there isn't one per school usually, most schools have a shared one). Also get in touch with the LA and ask what their policy is on supporting diabetic children.

At my school, all staff (including office staff) would be trained in diabetes support, as you never know who will be nearest a child when they need help.

Fwiw, my dh has been type 1 since 9 months old (and my MIL since she was 13 months). He never had any additional support from the school, so learnt to do his own sticks and injections from a very young age. Not ideal now, and I think times have moved on! He's educated to degree level so no educational problems. I suppose I just wanted to reassure you that, although type 1 is a life-long chronic condition, it's not a life sentence.

Finally, have you been in touch with Diabetes UK? They'r very helpful and I think have a help line you can phone for advice. They'll definitely what the current situation is in schools.

Bramblesinafield Wed 28-Nov-12 18:12:48

Hi busy bee,
My so was dx'd at 7 and the school helped him with fingerprick tests and a team of trained volunteer staff administered his injections at lunchtime. We did the same for a child in the school I work in - control is better if they have carb counted insulin with each meal.
He's now one pump with cgm and it rocks! It's given him his control and the cgm helps me to get other factors right - and to see what his levels have been so I can talk school not diabetes.
Get thee to Cwd! Open up a gmail account for it and find some great support. It's such early days but trust me it will get better as you learn to handle the dark art that is diabetes!

Littlebearlost Wed 28-Nov-12 21:05:37

It sounds like it's all improved loads since I was at school!
I can remember being shouted at as a newly diagnosed 10 year old when eating something to treat a low. The teacher said I should wait until break, which was twenty minutes away. I've never forgotten it.

Bramblesinafield Wed 28-Nov-12 21:13:44

I hope so, little bear. There are still some pockets of difficult uninclusive practice, but once people understand they usually help. Funded support is still an issue, particularly for little ones.

pinkpeonies Thu 29-Nov-12 14:59:53

Hi busybee,

We live in London and our LA is a London borough. They too initially said they didn't "do statements" for medical needs but when I asked for their criteria document they had "complex medical needs" which I felt we could prove at the time as DD was only 2. There was no way anyone was going to be telling me she could blood test, interpret the readiong, carb count, correct high sugars and inject at that age! Although she is now gaining in independence I still forsee her needing an adult to supervise her for some time yet and the adults role is also to help develop her independence and strategies within a school setting. The school she goes too is very inclusive and although there is no statutory duty by teachers to administer medicine I know someone would have stepped up. I didn't want to rely on good will though and I also want her to have tight control at school to aid her learning and of course avoid complications later on. It may not be a road you have to go down but just wanted to let you know that it is possible, even for older children.

busybee20 Sun 02-Dec-12 15:05:46

Hello everyone, i just want to say that my DD had her first day back at school on friday and it went really well, thank God. Her b.g were better than when she's at home. I know it was just one day and if there is one thing i have learnt, it is that you can never predict what the next b.g reading will be.
Im so proud of my DD. smile

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