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Re: [IP] Attendance at school.
Until August 1991, my son had never been sick - not even an ear infection.
He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in August 1991, about three weeks
before he was to start kindergarten. He barely remembers life without
diabetes. I put him on the bus the first day of school and held my breath (I
also got in my car and followed the bus to school), but he had a wonderful
teacher and a fabulous school nurse that first year. His diabetes was no big
deal from day one. We made it a part of our lives, deal with it, and move
He had excellent teachers during his elementary school years, and that
fabulous school nurse took such wonderful care of him. (We are fortunate to
have excellent RNs in all of our schools). His middle school years continued
to be problem-free - he had two great school nurses and understanding
teachers who, again, made no big deal about his diabetes. That is not to say
they were not aware of it, and did not respond to his needs. His needs at
school were never met with indifference, ignorance or a lack of
His transition to pumping and to high school were seamless. Last year, there
were 8 kids with diabetes in his high school - some were pumpers, some on
injections, and one was on inhaled insulin (she was part of the trial at
Yale). Again, a wonderful school nurse (who has some 800 kids to care for)
watches out for him and all of his fellow diabetics.
My son has missed no school since kindergarten due to his diabetes. He has
had an occasional cold, upset stomach or has needed a "mental health day"
(don't we all). He has been class president, is involved in a student
leadership group, has been in every drama club production since his freshman
year, sings in the chorus, is on the "Diversity Dream Team" with kids from
20 other high schools in our area, and has maintained a 3.7+ GPA while taking
all honors level courses. He teaches Sunday school, has volunteered at our
local hospital, now works part-time at our local Subway, and is anxious now
to start driver training.
I feel very lucky to be blessed with such a wonderful kid. He is a "limited
edition" - (our term for only child) - and I think in part due to his having
to cope with diabetes for nearly his whole life, he is responsible and mature
beyond his years. I truly feel sorry for families having to cope with
difficult school systems, terrible school nurses (or no school nurse at all),
and kids that don't want to go to school. I wish I could offer some advice
to help you with your situation.
Mom to Steven, age 16
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