School life of a T1

There isn’t a stage in her education that Pumplette hasn’t had T1. From her earliest foray into education at the age of 2 & a 1/2, there have always needed to be plans that shape her care & reflect her needs at each age.

These plans should ideally be shaped with one soul purpose in mind. Namely an equitable educational experience for the child with T1 to that of their peers. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well educated teachers working in conjunction with the parents of the child who, along with the child or young person with T1, are the experts in that one particular diagnosis. I would not ever presume that I would know how to take charge of another T1 child who wasn’t resident in our house. True, I am well versed in speaking the same language as these other children & their parents, but I don’t not know their individual ISF (insulin sensitivity factor). I don’t know how different activities will impact upon their bg management. So I would ask the questions, make note of the responses, and above all else, make a note of the parent’s number & how accomplished that child is & how much support or supervision he or she would need whilst in my charge.

But here’s the rub. I’ve found, in the course of Pumplette’s educational road, sometimes people not well versed with this most fickle of mistresses, will seek to presume they know much of how to treat it, from the merit of having another child with the same condition in their care.

This is not so!!

Granted, there are elements of similarity in the care required, but that does not make for an armchair expert. Or worse still, an interactive whiteboard expert!!

Our CWD have, until now, been at the mercy of educators who could dictate whether or not that child could participate in a residential trip. Where is the equality in educational experience in that scenario?

Mercifully, thanks to a change in the law in the UK, this should now all be a thing of the past. Diabetes UK “Make the Grade” campaign has produced excellent information for parents & teachers alike, so there can be no ambiguity when it comes to the expectations & levels of care a child with T1 should experience when they are away from home & in the charge of teachers. The packs set out clearly the responsibilities of all, so this September, make sure you’ve familiarised yourself with theses packs & used the care plan template, so that no child will ever again be excluded from any activity because they happen to have T1.

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