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Advice Needed About School in Michigan-Long-Diabetes Related

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I am going to try to make my story short.

My son will be 8 (tomorrow). He was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes about 2 months ago. He is handling it very well, and we have all adjusted much better than expected, but at school, there have been many problems. I live in a small town in southeast Michigan, and I just feel that there is no one at the school who is qualified to help him manage his insulin and blood sugars. They don't even have a school nurse (she got let go when they had budget cuts). They have 2 'parapros' who help kids, and they claim to have dealt with diabetic children before, but everything that they do says otherwise. I realize that it is an adjustment for everyone, but it has been 2 months, and they still can't count carbs, do the basic math required for his insulin dosing, treat his high and low sugars, or anything. They rush through everything and even lack the common sense to let him do his school work in the office when he is waiting for his blood sugar to go up when it's low. I have contacted everyone necessary, and talked to his teacher, the school counselor, the school social worker, his doctor, the parapros at school, the office staff, the principal...there is really no one else that I can go to, and nothing changes. We are supposed to test his blood sugar 4 times a day, or a couple extra times if he is feeling like his sugar is low so that we can treat it. They are testing it at school 10-15 times a day (just at school, between 9am and 340pm). I have talked to them about this several times, and they always seem to listen, seem to understand, and we come up with a plan, only for them to go right back to the way things were the next day. I went from calming talking to them, to very angrily and frustrated talking to them, to borderline yelling, to just crying because I am so frustrated and they just don't get it. I seriously feel like a group of monkeys could do better. It's like these people retain nothing. At this point, I just want to pull him out of the school. He is in the office more than he is in his class each day, and most of his school work gets sent home to be completed. I can't switch school districts, because I don't have a car to be able to drive him to another school, so I don't have many options. I asked the principal about just having him finish this year out from home, and possibly coming in to the school to take the required tests and whatnot. She didn't answer me. She kind of danced around it, and then told me that I need to make the decision that I feel is best for him. She said that of course she wants him at school, but it's not her decision. I had an hour long conversation with her about everything that's going on and all of these different options as far as doing his testing in class so that he doesn't miss so much, sending his work to the office, etc. I also talked about how often they test his sugar, saying that it's not necessary, and she agreed...then the next day, they used 10 test strips. It's just like it goes in one ear and out the other. I can't take it anymore. I have talked until I am blue in the face, written everything down so that they can reread anything that they forget, and they still do the same things, over and over.

So, my question is...I am in Michigan. Can I legally pull him out of school and have him do the work at home? Can anyone give me ANY pointers or at least some kind of direction since the principal wouldnt answer me?! I have already enrolled him in online school for next year, so I just need to get through these next 3 months, but I seriously fear for my son's health if he stays in the situation that he is in. (And yes, I have told the school staff and principal this).

Thank You in Advance to anyone that can help.

by on Mar. 7, 2013 at 10:38 PM
Replies (21-30):
Gorilla_Mama
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 7:45 AM
1 mom liked this
You can't pull him out and only send him in for tests but you can pull him out and totally homeschool him. I'm in mi too and one of my friends homeschools. She said MI had very little in the way of requirements to homeschool, she pulled hers out quoting religious differences. She also said the only way for the state to force them back into public school would be for the superintendent of the district you live in to protest that the child is behind and have them tested. As long as the child tests at grade level then your good.

I would give serious consideration to homeschooling since they're not listening to you. Diabetes is nothing to fool around with.
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SusanD
by Gold Member on Mar. 8, 2013 at 7:49 AM
Good luck! I gave a 12yr old T1D who was dx'd 6 years ago this month. Even with school nurses we seem to have issues with schools and them doing things correctly. We finally have a great nurse, but now he is in the throws of puberty and that is making life very difficult.
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spooky415
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 7:52 AM
Has his doctor submitted a plan? My family has a ton of experience with diabetes. When I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia my doctor basically wrote step by step instructions and even 'scenarios' and that was what we have to the school. Every teacher had one, the nurse had one, my administrator and any one else if I interest. I also had an alarm set on my watch when my blood sugar was to be checked and I told them myself. I'd just get up and be like 'I'm going to the nurse for this now.'

I was older than him but I think at his age he should be able to actively say 'its not time to check my bloody sugar' and let them know when it should be. I know that wont solve everything but it should help a little bit.
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KelseyLynn
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 8:34 AM

 

I did some looking on the website and couldn't find anything specific to my situation. I will probably call them if I can't get some answers at his doctor appointment today. Thank you!

Quoting NDADanceMom:

I have 2 type one diabetic kids. I suggest calling your local American diabetes association. They are the ones that should have sent you the whiz kids packet. They have resources to let you know your legal rights.


 

KelseyLynn
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 8:45 AM

 Fortunately for me, one of the best hospitals IS right down the road...UNfortunately for me, my insurance doesn't cover it. They don't cover U of M. He is being treated out Providence Park in Novi. They are doing a great job. His school just isn't. I had never even thought about the dog. I had thought about the pump, but know nothing about it and just hadn't thought to ask about it yet. I will ask about that at his appointment today. I applied for help to cover the cost of all his prescriptions. Right now, it is costing me $300 a month AFTER what the insurance covers. I never heard back from the people that I applied with, so I am assuming that means that they aren't going to help me. A lot of places won't help because I do at least have SOME kind of insurance, and they only help people who have none.

Thank you for all of your advice.


Quoting AMBG825:

 I'm originally from MI now living in IN but still have quite a bit of family that live there. Quite a few of them are diabetics. Fortunately for you, one of the best hospitals for dealing with diabetic children is not far from you.

 

My DD is in kindergarten and is type 1 diabetic as well. A few suggestions. Apply for the grants to get either a diabetic dog or a pump, (or both) The pump makes things SOOOOOOO much easier. It does the testing for him and to deliver the insulin, just push a button. My DD is 6 (as of today) and she can operate it easily. Talk to the U of M children's hospital and see if they can get you started on helping you get a low cost pump.

 

Before my DD had the pump, she had a dog. The dog pretty much does the same thing. They can sense when the insulin levels go too high or low and alert you to test yourself. There are organizations to help you get one at no cost but there is a waiting period. PAWS and Dogs for Diabetics are 2 organizations to look into.

 

After that the PP had a good suggestion with contacting the American Diabetes foundation.


 

KelseyLynn
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 5:01 PM
Quoting DieselsMom:

maybe your son just isn't healthy enough to go to school if he is having THAT many problems?




It's not that he isn't healthy enough. He is perfectly fine and has it under control at home, but at school, something is going on that I don't know about or understand.
KelseyLynn
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 5:04 PM
Quoting Kris_PBG:

I have a type 1 diabetes student in my class.

Everything we need to do for her was carefully laid out in her 504 plan.

We developed it as a team and it is our "road map" as to when to test, etc...

Does your son have a 504 plan in place?



He has a school health plan, which was designed by his doctor. But the school had the district nurse rewrite a school plan that they supposedly follow...although it seems to me that they don't follow either.
KelseyLynn
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 5:11 PM
Quoting NDADanceMom:





My son does his sugar testing himself. They do his lunch menus a month ahead of time and measure out the carb count to help things run smoother each day. His lows are anywhere from 39 to 70...his target range is 80 to 180. His para has NO idea what she is doing, simple or not. And ues, I thought that it was basic too...that a 3rd grader should be able to figure it out, but his para cabt. I have his menu, carb ratios and measurements, so I know what he eats and when and how much. I also know how much activity he gets.
KelseyLynn
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 5:12 PM
Quoting NDADanceMom:




They won't hire anyone. The district doesn't have the money for it.
KelseyLynn
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 5:15 PM
Also...the district nurse flat out refused to come to the school to help. She said "I am way to busy managing this entire district and you would be better off calling 911 if something goes wrong."
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