Going back to school can be a stressful time for anyone. For people with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) this can be even more so, especially returning to school after a new diagnosis. It’s important that teachers are aware of T1D so they can ensure the wellbeing of their students.
It’s so important that your school teachers are aware of your T1D and know what to do when you need assistance. If they are educated, they will be better prepared to help you.
It’s also advisable to keep a Glucagon kit at the school office, therefore it’s best to educate the school secretaries or the school nurse.
If you feel comfortable, it’s also great to make your friends aware. That way you can ask them for help too.
Educate your teachers on the symptoms of high and low blood glucose so that they can keep an eye out for you.
If you play sports, educate your coaches on how you may need to take breaks if your blood glucose drop and eat and rest until your blood glucose returns to a good level.
Know your rights
It’s important to educate your teachers that you need to eat during class. No excused from your teachers, you are the exception. If you write exams, make sure the teachers are aware of your T1D!
Be as open about your T1D as possible
The more open you are about your diabetes, the better. People are often very inquisitive and unfortunately T1D carries a lot of misconceptions so try to be as patient as possible
If you wear a medical device, wear it with pride
NEVER be ashamed of a CGM or pump being visible. People are more likely to ask you questions but use it as an opportunity to educate people and create a positive conversation about T1D.
Make sure you ALWAYS have glucose sweets or a juice box with you. Lows can happen at the most unexpected times. It’s also important if you leave the classroom to carry your ‘low’ treatments with you.
Drink plenty of water at school too. Pack your bag the night before; that way you are less likely to forget important things at home. Be prepared for more than one low a day and pack enough supplies.
Remember that your T1D doesn’t define you
Know that diabetes doesn’t make you different from everyone else 🙂
Click on the image to make use of a printable PDF from the JDRF which is a great resource to give to your teachers.
MEET OUR YOUTH WARRIOR
Sarah Gomm (16) has been living with Type 1 diabetes for nearly 13 years; diagnosed at age four.
My family knew something was wrong with me due to my symptoms of thirst and weight loss, etc. They took me to the doctor and I was immediately sent to the hospital where I was diagnosed with T1D. I spent a few nights in hospital where my family and I learnt all the ins and outs of T1D.
For the next eight years, I did insulin injections and finger pricks. My mom would come to my school during break to do my injections until I was able to do them myself.
The past five years, I’ve been fortunate enough to use a CGM and insulin pump, which I’ve found to assist in lowering my HbA1c and improve my overall control.
As I get older, I’m becoming a lot more responsible managing my diabetes and it’s made me a very independent person.
However challenging T1D can be, I still count it as a blessing. I have experienced so many amazing things I never would have, it’s made me mature and, most importantly, I’ve met so many amazing people.
T1D does not define me, though, it has made me the person I am today, and for that I am grateful!