Chasey's diabetes and her school

Good morning everyone. I know this will be a bit heavy for only my second post and apologize ahead of time. I just need to put it all out there to people that understand and can get my concern.

So my daughter Chasey is 6 and in grade 1. This is her second year at the school is attending and she has the same teacher that she had for K. She found out in March of 2009 that she was diabetic and started on her minimed pump in October of last year. She was in preschool when we found out and the teacher was amazing. They were very supportive and encouraging and understanding.

Fast forward to K and things were bumpy and we were told that's normal, it's an adjustment period etc etc. The school and nurse also told us that it was hard for the teacher to monitor Chasey since they only saw her for about 2 hours a day. Fine, we made it through the year.

We went in the beginning of September and worked out a care plan for Chasey for this year. I thought it went well. We met in the middle on a lot of requests that I had so I thought we were off to a good start. Well that was until Chasey started having lows and I mean like half a dozen in a two week time span. Prior to her going back to school her numbers were great, which is a real accomplishment. It's not the lows so much, I was expecting a few with the adjustment, also our school has the eat first, play after policy. So I knew we were going to have to adjust her food intake and insulin levels.

The part that I am having a problem with is the fact that no one caught the lows and they went untreated for who knows how long. The school has to check her at 10:05am for snack and 12:25pm for lunch. The lows were happening before lunch and were going untreated until her scheduled testing time. So I have no idea how long she wasn't well for before they tested. Chasey's support staff is ill right now so they responsibility has fallen on me to go to the school to test and everything. The one day I showed up she was 2.7 and I was there 15 minutes early, thank goodness. The really scary part of that day is that a mother of another diabetic child in Chasey's class told the support worker that something was wrong with Chasey and she needed help and they did nothing. They didn't treat with sugar, call me or ask the other mom for help.

Then on Thursday night we had our parent teacher interviews at school and found out that the teacher has just been giving Chasey sugar tabs throughout the day, for no reason. She didn't suspect a low, she just thought that it was a good idea to give them. So we called the doc and had her levels changed but who knows how valid the numbers are with the school just doing whatever they want. Also the teacher told us that she is totally overwhelmed with the class and that she can't watch or understand lows.

I tried repeatedly to talk to the principle and she never had time. So after finding all this out on Thursday, I tried to get ahold of the principle on Friday which was a Pro d day so I knew she was there and she wouldn't get back to me so I went and sat at the school until she would schedule an appointment with me. The she was stand offish and short with me. She claims she can't see me until Wednesday and this is even after I told her that I was pulling Chasey out until we had a meeting.

Since the beginning of school and the start of these problems, I have been phoning the ministry of education and the head of nursing support staff to report the issues and lack of support. So now they are involved and I'm upset that it is taking the school so long to respond to their obligations. Both people that I have spoken to assure me that this is a basic safety issue and it's smart to keep Chasey home until it's resolved. But I feel like I'm punishing her. That was until last night when she told me that she is scared to go to school, because sometimes she gets confused and no one helps her.

So I guess I just want some reassurance from people that understand or some suggestions on how to better safe guard Chasey when she is around clueless people. Am I being overprotective, am I asking too much of the school?


I dont think you are being to overprotective. The School staff shouldn't give the students anything, unless they are in need. When I was in High School, my mom had a problem with the staff at my school. They had an issue with my syringes and my insulin being on me at all times. My mom had to go to the board of education and give them a written statement stating what my mom expected of the school staff. I was able to carry my syringes with  me and my insulin with me at all times but I had to keep them seperated at all times. The school's concern with it, was that other students could get a hold of the insulin and the syringes and use it on themselves. What school does your daughter go to? What school district is it? I can talk to my mom and ask her about how to go about doing it. I could even support you in whatever you choose to do. The teachers at your daughter's school shouldnt just be given your daughter sugar tabs at all different parts of the day without your daughter seeing the nurse. Technically, unless the law is different in your area, the teachers shouldnt be allowed to administer any kind of medicine or treatments, to the students. The only person allowed to give any kind of treatments should be the nursing staff at the school. Email me at and we can talk more there if you want. I went through this with my mom, and I will gladly do anything to help or support in any way that you need.



You are not being overprotective at all.  Having untreated lows is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

If your daughter is able to identify when she is low (ie. you said she knows when she is 'confused'), can you give her sugar tabs to keep with her and take as she needs to? I know she is young, but it's a skill best learned early.

The school cannot rely entirely on the meter - they need to know and identify what a low looks like.  I hope school personnel listen to you on that one and you get some resolution.

In general, I think your daughter is having way too many lows and I wonder if that's why the teacher was giving her sugar tabs - not that I think she should without your authorization, but the teacher may have been getting paranoid.  A 'half dozen lows in 2 weeks' averages to at least one low during 60% of her school days and that's not normal. It may be best to keep her home while you sort that out.  What do you keep her targets at? It's better for a child to run higher than lower.

Please let us know what happens and good luck to you!

Jen, i dont think u are being overprotective u are just wanting what is best for ur daughter. The school should go by what u want for her and not what they think is best for her. Just keep trying to get it the way that u think it should be. let us kown what happens. Hope everything works out for u and ur daughter.

The lows are occuring in the morning and it has to do with the change to her schedule. She is having two play periods far apart with only one test and one snack. We tried more food less insulin, no carb snack and no insulin, more protein. When she isn't low at lunch her number is perfect, so we were trying other options before messing with her pump setting, which we have talked to her doctor about. We ended up making changes but who knows if that will help since the teacher just does whatever they want. The teacher admitted she didn't know why she was giving them. She said she doesn't know how to handle so she just does whatever.

I think it's totally normal that her numbers would be off -- in this case more lows -- because he schedule has just changed with the start of the school year. When I start a new schedule it usually takes me about 2 weeks to get things settled. Hopefully once there are unnecessary sugar tabs, you can get her pump settings adjusted.

In the States, we have plans that parents set up for children in public schools who have special medical or developmental needs. Once the school district signs the plan, they are legally responsible for following through with the plan. Is there any thing like that in Canada? Is there a local diabetes group or even an education attorney you could consult with? The school doesn;t need to know at this point, but just so you can be sure of your rights. You're probably already doing this, but definitely write everything that happens down (e.g., days and times of untreated lows, date and time of conversations with teachers, unreturned phone calls etc) if you need proof to try to change her teacher or school.

Hang in there! I hope you find a sympathetic employee in the system soon!!

Hey Jen,

NO, you are not asking too much. This is your daughter, you do what you need to do in order for her to get the help she needs. I was diagnosed when I was 6 and I also had a hard time adjusting but I had a great nurse who was there for me. If you don't feel comfortable with the situation, talk to the Principle, demand to talk to her until she talks to you, talk to her higher-ups and call your diabetes educator/ doctors who deal with Chasey's health. Later on in life, I had a teacher who wouldn't let me see the nurse when I was feeling sick. Eventually, she let me go and I was over 400. We called my D.E. and they got in touch with the school, talking to the principle and teacher. It never happened again. Don't be afraid to use whatever power you have to, to let your daughter live a relatively normal life with people who actually care about Chasey's health and know how to help her when need be. Good luck, hope this helps.


Thank you everyone for your support and thoughts. Chasey has been home with us all day and her numbers have been fine, ran a bit high this afternoon but came right back down.

The whole situation is long and confusing and so much as happened that it was hard to include it all in the post. But you guys still got it, so thank you.

I know I am doing the right thing, it's just hard to make sure a drastic move. And I know people will talk and judge me and I know that shouldn't matter since it's all for the best for Chasey.

I have gone up above the principle to get help, now it's just a waiting game to see what happens. I am disappointed that she can't/won't meet us until Wednesday but I am sure she has her reasons. In the mean time I will keep Chasey home and safe with me.

I'll be sure to let you guys know what happens at the meeting.

Oh my, you are SO not being overprotective. The part that got me was your daughter's fear because she's confused and no one is there for her. Heartbreaking!

I don't know about the laws in Canada, but it seems to me that the school is being unbelievably negligent. You may not have the same rules we have here, but you should still be able to agree on a written care plan and I would hope there would be consequences to the school, teachers, whoever doesn't follow it to ensure that they do!

That said, when Sarah started school this year we had a similar problem. It's easier with her because she's older (10) and knows when she's low and what to do about it. But still, she was having breakfast and snack (and testing before both) and for the first two weeks she was in the 70's every day before lunch. I found a couple of problems. First, her basal needed to be adjusted. She's on less now than she's been in awhile, so it seemed weird, but I adjusted her down about .025 per hour, and since then she's been regularly in the 100's before lunch. The biggest thing that makes a diference for Sarah is having a snack. Even now she'll be low if the snack doesn't happen. She doesn't always want to stop and test and eat when the class is doing something. I've had to lay down the law a bit with her, let her know that Mama is not going to be happy if she ends up low because she didn't have a snack!

Anyway, good luck to you, and don't worry a second about what anyone else will think. She's your daughter and I imagine your peers don't have a child with diabetes so they have no idea what you're going through.


I don't think you're being too overprotective at all.  Lows are so serious for children.  I honestly teared up a little when I read that she's scared to go to school because she gets confused and no one helps her.  That's really horrible, and I'm glad you pulled her out until you can get this sorted out.

I'm not a parent of a T1 child, but I was diagnosed with T1 very young and I remember all of the crap my mom had to go through in order to get me the things I needed.  It's horrifying how little educators and even school nurses know about Type 1 Diabetes.  They never seem to understand the urgency of a low blood sugar.  I'm sure it's going to uncomfortable to have to confront the principal and teacher, but they're NOT adequately accomodating your child's medical condition.  Don't back down until you feel that school will be a safe place for her.  My mom had to advocate for me many times when I couldn't, and I'll always remember and appreciate that.


My foot would be in the principles and teachers uhm tush! No you are not being over protective. They are being neglectful more so because that other parent TOLD the teacher and nothing was done. My daughters school/nurse irks me but its nothing compared to you. I am taking a guess you are in Canada by the numbers you used but I would research the laws. I can say the American Diabetes legal help department here ROCKS but I dont know if they would be any use to you. Good luck.

Jen, I was diagnosed when I was Chasey's current age. I am using a minimed pump now. I suggest that you set a temporary basal for the time she is in school, especially for the morning hours, Then the normal basal can resume later in the day. A correction bolus may be needed if she is high when she gets home. If that is done then she should NOT be given any treats during school hours. Daily adjustments can be done until the correct basal rates are determined for her school hours. Running somewhat high is better than having hypos and maybe having to go to the ER. Performance in class during moderate highs is good, but it is not good while having lows. Running somewhat high for that part of her school days is healthier, and it should not affect her overall health.

If you do not know how to make the necessary adjustments in her basal rates and carb ratios, you can make an appointment with a CDE who is familiar with the minimed pump. My CDE trains diabetics for the minimed pump, Maybe you can find someone like that in your area.

Yes Richard that is great advice and we have already spoke to her endo and made the changes. However she pointed out the sometimes lows happen and it's just part of the disease and that someone needs to be able to reconize and treat the lows. And they obviously can not do that at school. Also we tried running her a little on the high side, it just wasn't working with the change in her schedule and not knowing what the agenda was at school. It didn't work so we made changes to her pump. She has several different basal settings throughout day and changing them is no trouble. It's also easy to reach her doctor, we just phone her cell, download her numbers on carelink and she views them and makes the changes. And we see her every couple of months. 

With Chasey lows cause more of a mood change, personality change then physical signs. With highs she suffers physically, especially her legs and this can start around sometimes 13 sometimes higher.

So some days she would be in the low 3s and we would treat the low and feed her (and if she just went up to 10 or so we would leave her because we knew she had gym and work it off) and then with the teacher slipping her sugar tabs for no reason she would rocket up to like the high teens and that can't be good for her little body all in one day.

I know we will get there. And that there is a learning curve for everyone involved. But I need to have faith in the people that are supporting her at school and that's not the case. So I need to find out what the issue is there and fix it before she goes back. Like I tell everyone that gives me lip serve about her diabetes, it's an art not a science. Just because something works now it may not next week and I may not always know why something is happening.

[quote user="JenPeltier"]

Like I tell everyone that gives me lip serve about her diabetes, it's an art not a science. Just because something works now it may not next week and I may not always know why something is happening.


Isn't that the truth! And it's by far the hardest thing to explain to everyone. People are used to using medicine as a "fix", so it seems difficult for people to understand that it's not like giving her a pill, there's some guesswork involved, and no matter what you do you really have no idea what her number will be an hour later.

[quote user="Michelle"]

[quote user="JenPeltier"]

Like I tell everyone that gives me lip serve about her diabetes, it's an art not a science. Just because something works now it may not next week and I may not always know why something is happening.


Isn't that the truth! And it's by far the hardest thing to explain to everyone. People are used to using medicine as a "fix", so it seems difficult for people to understand that it's not like giving her a pill, there's some guesswork involved, and no matter what you do you really have no idea what her number will be an hour later.


So true! They'll need to be able to understand what to do with a high or low at school because things change all the time w/o warning!!