Transition to High School

My daughter was just newly diagnosed in January of this year (almost 4 weeks ago) she is in Grade 7 and will make the transition to High School for Grades 8 to 12 next year.  Because this is all so new for her, she is already fretting about things such as:

1.  Where am I going to do my insulin injections (if she isn't on the insulin pump by then), she is currently doing her injections in the principal's office at lunch time

2.  I don't want people to know that I have diabetes and everyone is going to know because I have to check my blood sugars during the day?

I know that going to High School was going to cause her a bit of anxiety anyway, now throw in the fact that she has diabetes and she is really anxious about it.

Any advise from other parents on the transition to high school would be appreciated.

Thank you.

I have a 5 year old son who was dx in May of 2008--and we really have a very different situation than what you have--I just felt so sad for your daughter--she is still in a state of shock and now she is probably just venting her anger at having to deal with this--and this really stinks for her as well as you and her dad-- Having said that--I heard that the animas ping pump is very popular with teenagers b/c it comes in cool colors-- This may be an angle you can use--Diabetes can be very interesting to other kids, and she actually may be considered "cool" once she gets comfortable with it. I wish you all the luck in the world!!


Pete and Jules mom

My son Andrew was diagnosed in August of 2005 at age 12.  He was also in the 7th grade.  He is now 15 and in the 10th grade.  The transition to High School wasn't too bad. Don't get me wrong, he was still nervous.  I have an excellent nurse who is very organized.  My advise to you is to find out who the nurse is at the school and plan to meet with her before the school year begins and find out how she does things and to introduce your daughter to her.  Find out if there are other diabetics in the school.  We also have a meeting with the teachers to discuss what diabetes means and to introduce Andrew to them.  We also answer any questions that they may have.  Some teachers believe it or not have never dealt with a diabetic before. We then set up emergency kits for each classroom consisting of a bottle of water, a juice box, crackers, glucose tablets.  The teachers are instructed to carry them with them at class trips or even fire drills or emergency evacuations.

The meeting with the nurse made the transition much easier because he knew what to expect from her and her routines.  Most likely she will do her injections in her office.  My son was on the pump before he started High School.

You should tell your daughter the importance of letting people know that she is a diabetic.  Find out if any of her friends are in her classes. That way if anything happens she has them to speak for her.  She should also have a ID bracelet just in case. We also established a signal with the teachers to show if Andrew is in trouble.  He raises his pointer finger to the teacher and that shows them that he needs the nurse and his emergency kit.  He has never used it yet.

The most important thing you can have for her is the 504 plan.  It was the best thing I ever did when he went into High School.  He didn't have one in Middle School.  You are dealing with more in High School, tests,sports,after school activities,etc.

Just let her know that it's normal to feel this way.  I'm sure that everything will go alright.