Student Care


 

Unfortunately, this topic is global in scope among families of children with diabetes.

 

Those living in the US are protected through federal legislation that identifies students with diabetes as requiring an Individual Programming Plan describing all special needs caused by their condition and how these should be treated while the child is in school. The www.childrenwithdiabetes.com site contains extensive information on how to access these services for your child.

 

In Canada, education is a provincial matter and, at the the time of writing, only two provinces have legislation specifically protecting the needs of students with diabetes – Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Ontario (www.diabetesinschools.ca) has a lobbying group seeking support for students with diabetes. www.diabetesadvocacy.com has a good overview of school policies across Canada.

 

Although in Alberta T1D effects between 1 in 200 students (Edmonton Public Schools 2009/10 data) and 1 in 500 students (Alberta Diabetes Encyclopedia), care of students with diabetes is haphazard. Currently each school district sets its own policies which are followed to various levels. Alberta Student Health may be able to help students at the time of diagnosis and during changes of treatment (i.e. multiple daily injections to insulin pump).

 

A group of Edmonton-based parents has successfully lobbied to Edmonton Public Schools to update their medical policies to provide better care for students with diabetes. Both the Public School Boards’ Association of Alberta and the Alberta School Board Association (ASBA) have indicated support. In fact, ASBA has offered assistance to any school district seeking help to update their medical management policies.