Kids School Program
School Advisory Toolkit
JDRF has introduced its School Advisory Toolkit as part of an extensive program to increase the awareness of the special needs of children with type 1 diabetes in the classroom and to support parents and school administrators.
All students with type 1 diabetes need a strong support network at school to help them properly manage their type 1 diabetes on a daily basis. Cultivating good relationships with school staff is key.
The JDRF School Advisory Toolkit helps parents and school personnel ensure that students with type 1 diabetes have the best possible school experience. The Toolkit was written by a retired school administrator who is also the parent of child with diabetes. As a result, it helps parents and school personnel understand each other's points of view, as well as the needs of students with type 1 diabetes.
The School Advisory Toolkit includes:
- Practical information on everyday medical needs
- Helpful charts with information on low and high blood sugar symptoms
- Steps to prepare substitute teachers for students with type 1 diabetes
- Tear out sheets and sample tools for the classroom
- Real-life scenarios to help parents obtain a better understanding of schools' legitimate concerns and needs when a student has type 1 diabetes
If would like to request the full version of the School Advisory Toolkit, please contact our office at (904) 739.2101or email us.
About the School Advisory Tool Kit
As part of an extensive program to increase the awareness of the special needs of children with type 1 diabetes in the classroom, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International now offers two key support programs for parents and school administrators: the JDRF School Advisory Kit, and an on-line “School Assistance Team.”
One of the most pressing concerns for parents and their school-aged children with type 1 diabetes is the relationship between the family and the school. Many schools are also struggling to meet the medical and educational needs of the increasing number of students with diabetes.
JDRF has developed a number of innovative programs and materials to assist parents of children with diabetes and schools to work together on behalf of students with diabetes in a respectful and mutually beneficial manner. The effort has two goals: to help parents of children with type 1 diabetes to understand the needs, fears, and concerns schools, administrators, and classroom teachers have in caring for students with medical concerns such as diabetes, and to help school administrators, teachers and nurses better understand the unique medical, emotional, and educational needs of children with diabetes and their parents.
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic, debilitating disease affecting every organ system. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It usually strikes in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood, but lasts a lifetime. People with type 1 diabetes must take multiple injections of insulin daily or continuous infusion of insulin through a pump just to survive. Taking insulin does not cure any type of diabetes nor prevent the possibility of its eventual and devastating effects: kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, amputation, heart attack, and stroke. (Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which a person’s body still produces insulin but is unable to use it effectively.)
The School Advisory Toolkit is a new resource (available from any of the 85 local JDRF chapters nationally or by visiting www.jdrf.org/satrequest) The School Advisory Toolkit provides practical information on everyday medical needs. This includes defining the responsibilities of the students, school administrators, the school nurse, teachers, coaches, and other school personnel, as well as the parents. Helpful charts provide information on low and high blood sugar symptoms, along with the appropriate actions needed by school personnel, she said. The Toolkit includes steps for the school to follow to prepare substitute teachers to deal with type 1 students – a commonly forgotten but essential element of being in charge of any classroom.
In addition, the Toolkit provides information to help parents understand how schools work and describes the best ways to approach the school to ensure appropriate services for a student with type 1 diabetes. By using real-life scenarios, the Toolkit helps parents obtain a better understanding of the legitimate concerns and needs schools have when a child with diabetes is a member of their school population. At the same time, the Toolkit provides school administrators with better understanding of the difficulties of living with type 1 diabetes, and the emotionally and physically demanding experience of having a child with type 1 diabetes in the family. The Toolkit provides the school with information about how the child, the child’s siblings, and the parents are all impacted by this serious disease.
Other sections of the Toolkit address the legal rights of the child and the services schools are required to provide for these students, diabetes training of school personnel, potential rule and academic modifications that might be needed for the child with diabetes, emotional issues involving the child, the effects of exercise and illness on the child, diabetes in the day care setting, and diabetes in the college years.
The second school-related program JDRF introduced is an on-line help system. Any questions concerning diabetes and schools can be asked of the “Online Diabetes Support Team” at the JDRF website (www.jdrf.org). Any question relating to diabetes and schools will be referred to a member of the School Assistance Team – volunteers, usually with a direct connection to diabetes, who have specialized knowledge about diabetes and school issues. School Assistance Team members will respond via email within 48 hours. The School Assistance Team member will share their personal experiences and give as much information as possible to help the person asking the question. All correspondence is confidential.
The “Online Diabetes Support Team” at the JDRF website handles thousands of questions from patients, parents, friends, and others on a monthly basis.