School is just around the corner again! I could do with another month or two of summer, but ready or not, here we come!
And oh, the apprehension! Kaitlyn (centered between her four siblings in the photo above) will be in fourth grade this year—her second-to-last year before she graduates from elementary school. I can’t believe it! I’m really hoping things will go well. The school’s policy is to list what teachers the kids will have at 5 p.m. the night before school starts, so I don’t even know who her teacher will be yet. We also don’t even know for sure that our wonderful school nurse, Laura, will be assigned to our school again this year. We’ve been lucky so far with our nurses, and for the most part, things have gone well with the teachers, too. I have no reason to think that they won’t go well this year also, but I am anxious to have our 504 meeting to put this year’s plan into place for Kaitlyn.
Things will be quite a bit different this year than they have been before. First off, Kaitlyn’s getting more and more independent with her care, and I want to create a plan that allows her to do a majority of her care on her own but also have the nurses available to help and watch over her. She has a cell phone now, and I want her to be allowed to use it at school to ask me questions and give me updates. I’m not sure how the school will respond to this, because I know there is a fine line between allowing her independence while expecting the school to keep her safe.
Another change is that I will have a more consistent way to see her numbers while she’s at school: the app that sends Kaitlyn’s continuous glucose monitor (CGM) data to her cell phone and my smart watch! I’m really excited about this as well, but it will add another dimension of diabetes care that we’ll need to work into her 504 plan. Will the school allow her to get texts from me throughout the day that will remind her to make adjustments and corrections? What if the communication between her cell phone and mine breaks down; will the school allow her to call me directly?
Obviously, I have my work cut out for me as I prepare for this upcoming meeting! I know what I want, but I still need to think about how to present it to the administration team in a practical and reasonable way. In my experience so far, if I come prepared and make reasonable requests, they’ve been very accommodating and supportive. I hope all goes well again, and I wish you all the best of luck in your new school year planning too!
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.