Resolving Diabetic Challenges – What to Do When Schools Aren’t Doing Enough

Having a diabetic child can be very difficult, both for parents and for schools. Even if you do everything in your power to make sure that the school takes adequate care of your child, sometimes conflicts arise. Remember, schools aren’t an enemy. You both have the same goals – to make sure that your child is safe, healthy, and learning. Sometimes there can be different priorities or a different understanding of different aspects of how diabetes works and how it can affect a child. Areas of conflict usually include: the extent in which diabetes can risk a child’s life or affect their performance and future, the where, how, and when of diabetes management and how to perform them in a safe way, and what rights and protection your diabetic child has under the law.

The most important thing a parent of a diabetic child can do is to educate and inform the people who are around him or her. Family, friends, neighbors, and school personnel need to have the information to properly accommodate and handle the special needs of a child with diabetes. Even though no one is better than the child’s own parents when managing this disease, parents can teach and support the people responsible for the child when the parents are not around to make sure that the child’s journey through the educational system is safe, fun, exciting, and a complete success. When teaching people about diabetes, it is very important to learn to listen. This way you can be aware and do something about the misunderstandings and misconceptions that different people may have about diabetes.

A parent will be put into a position in which they will have to speak up and make sure that schools are doing everything they can. This can be an uncomfortable position for many parents and not many handle it well. This can happen because of basic ignorance of the law and how it applies to them and their child.  Or, maybe they are uncomfortable facing authority, they get too emotional, they lack self-confidence, or they don’t want to be too aggressive. It is important to remember that when facing school officials about the proper care for a diabetic child, it is not a competition to win for winning’s sake. It’s all about making sure that the school will be a safe place for your child. Most of the time, educating people about diabetes and clearing up misconceptions can be more than enough to make everything go smoothly.

However, there are times when education isn’t enough to ensure that your child’s needs are met. In these cases, you may feel obligated to litigate or push for new laws to make sure your child is protected. You will need to bargain or negotiate with school officials about your particular case. If laws aren’t being followed, undertake legal action and, in case the laws don’t cover your special case, push so that the appropriate legislation is passed. A concerned parent can be a great force. Find out your child’s rights are and make your voice heard.

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