What do you do when your child goes low in school and they don't dare let anybody know?
How is your son's diabetes causing him to miss assignments or leave class? Is he using diabetes as an excuse or are highs and lows impeding him? If he's having repeated highs or lows at specific times, then try to adjust insulin to prevent it.
Diabetes does take time and attention, but realistically your son will have to figure out how to balance that with his obligations as a student, and later as an employee.
It's reasonable that your son should ask about what he misses if he's absent from class. That's not a punch in the gut, that's reality. If there are any ways the school can help your son be in class more, like not requiring him to go to the nurses office to test or treat a low, then this is a good time to speak with the school about it.
Help you son be successful by making sure he's got a glucose meter, snacks, and glucose tablets in his backpack and also extra glucose tablets in his gym locker. Make sure he has a dedicated homework time at home each night.
Diabetes is a big responsibility and requires kids to be more mature in some ways. But that's not the end of the world. Your son can do this.
T1 since 1977 Minimed pump since 2002
Can you tell when your son is going low (mood changes, coloring, etc)? IF so, be sure his teachers know these signs so they can help watch for them. My son has scheduled times he is free to leave and go check his numbers. Of course, he can leave anytime he feels he needs to but if you schedule times (at the nurses office) he can go check them and hopefully the nurse will ask him what the numbers are and have him eat a snack or something if he is low.
Mother of Dylan, diagnosed at age 10 in July 2010
Why is he afraid to let any one know that he is low? Are the teachers unsympathetic? What about principals/vice-principals? Does he not feel comfortable testing and treating himself for a low with his classmates watching? Maybe these are some questions to ask of the school staff, as well.
And, as Jackie said, if there are visible signs of his being low, make sure his teachers are aware of them. That way, he isn't the one who has to make the call. My daughter has no visible signs of being low. She feels shaky and tests herself where ever she is -- the moment she feels that way.
Also, my son checks his numbers in the nurses office so the other students aren't watching and that has never been a problem. I hope all gets better for you!
My son is 10 and diagnosed in November 2010. I am also a Type 1 diabetic. My son has come home many times at lunch with a low blood sugar and when I ask why he did not check his sugar at school his answer is either he was not "feeling" low or he knew he was coming home soon so he decided to wait. Since his glucometer is in the school office and since day 1 his teachers have given him a hard time when he needs to check his sugar (sometimes they make him wait if they are doing something in class and sometimes they let him go).
I have spoken with the principal and teachers ON MANY OCCASSIONS and this year I went in well prepared for our meeting with a small binder for the principal and two main teachers with info on low blood sugar/high blood sugar, emergency protocol etc...
I have had countless arguments with the school and still I have many issues. Last week, my son went to check his sugar before recess (his usual protocol at school) and did not have access to the room where they keep his meter so he went outside to play without being able to check his sugar.
All this to say, that if the school at any time makes your child feel "conscious" about checking their sugar, this may prohibit them from checking. My son feels like he gets in "trouble" when asking to check his blood sugar and several times a teacher has replied that "Your diabetes is not more important than your school work"!!!
I am sending a registered letter to the principal and school board since I have gotten no where with the school.
Speak to your child and see if there is any reason they feel like they don't want to let others know. Maybe they feel embarassed? Maybe they don't want to feel 'different'? If nothing else, I give my son swedish berries (it is a gummy candy we use to treat his low) and he has them in his pant pockets, jacket pockets, lunch bag, fanny pack, etc...so maybe your child could just take a few candies when in doubt as this is better than being low or even being a bit high and then correcting the blood sugar later on.
I do tell my son when in doubt, take some berries even if he cannot check his sugar.
Ironically, I am VERY easy going and carefree about my diabetes and management and never come across as self-conscious so I am not sure where my son gets this from. However, my older brother was diagnosed at age 12 and since day one he has always been self-conscious and seems secretive about his diabetes.
Good luck :-)
After reading some of these I feel so blessed that the school my son attends in MN is so open minded. He is never given a hard time or asked to wait. If he needs to go, he goes. No questions asked. He gets out of his class right before lunch 10 minutes early daily to have time to check his numbers and make it to the lunch line to be with his friends. It is very unfortunate that all schools are not like this! Best of luck to you and your children!!!!!
We made a conscious effort to not be ashamed of diabetes. By hiding it from teachers, friends and family we knew that we would only be opening ourselves up for danger or being misunderstood (like chemical crankiness cost by highs or lows). So we've been very up front every September with the faculty and school administration. They know what to expect and how to spot odd behavior caused by lows because we teach them about it. I urge you to put pride and self consciousness aside and tackle this head on with school personnel.
You may also be amazed by the result. Instead of being treated "special" in a bad way, we found that they treat our daughter like a hero for succeeding and persevering most of the time DESPITE her diabetes.
How old is your child? This is a huge factor in how to deal with the situation. It could be so many different reasons. My son is 15 yrs old now and still can not tell he is low until he is in the 40 range. If your child did know find out why they didn't want to say anything. Depending on the answer with your child you may need to have a meeting not just with administration,teachers at school but also with friends peers etc.. I meet with every teacher and talk with his friends so they know. My daughter has type 1 but she is 8 so I go and talk with her class and teachers. It is up to the child to decide what and who they are comfortable with. One little girl was in my daughters class. Her family did not talk about diabetes so she didn't. She talked with me so we made a little laminated card for her to raise when she felt low. This way she didn't have to announce it to the class and the teacher would notice and pay attention to her. As you can see we are very open about diabetes but still my 15 year old doesn't want to announce it in class. So his teachers know if he is acting different to have him test (this hasn't happened) they also know if he is eating in class he is low and no one says anything. The friends my kids have are great if anything is off they will ask them to test also. Everyone is different but your child will have Type 1 for life. The easier it is for them to talk about it the better it is. Of course this is just my opinion and many people do not ever really get comfortable with talking about diabetes.