Technically Eden is “disabled”…

Eden is legally protected at school by what is called a “504 plan” (more info here)  which covers children with disabilities. I myself do not consider T1D currently as a disability – but if it protects my childs’ right to a fair education and her life whilst at school then I am all for it.

Eden has a Student Accommodation 504 plan in conjunction with her Medical Management Plan which are in place and specific to her particular needs in relation to Type 1 Diabetes.

T1D is a SERIOUS condition that can be life-threatening and as such we must have provisions in place to ensure she is safe when she is at school.

We have been incredibly lucky that her school has been very accommodating in our requests and has never gone against our 504 plan – which is a LEGAL document and must be adhered to. I have seen time and time again where parents are struggling because their schools / teachers do not understand the seriousness and repeatedly go against a 504 putting a life at risk as well as future learning capabilities of a child.

I believe this is where education comes in and why I fight so hard every day to help educate and spread awareness. If teachers do not fully understand T1D or are not willing to learn about T1D these problems will continue.

2 of Eden’s accommodations specifically related to her education are the following:

Type 1 Diabetes affects mood when blood sugar levels are out of whack but they also severely affect Eden’s ability to concentrate and focus. The ability to adsorb information is sometimes completely out of her control and it can sometimes affect her school work and/or testing capabilities. If results are out of the norm and her teacher deems appropriate – Eden is able to re-take tests if blood sugar levels are thought to be an issue.

Eden’s medical needs are also to be accommodated for field trips (so she does not miss out on the opportunity) and require a trained staff member (nurse) to attend.  As the school district has only a handful of nurses to go around I have always instead volunteered to attend field trips with Eden. I have to admit – the first time she went on a field trip (I followed the bus in my car) and I lost sight of the bus I almost had a panic attack.

Today, we head off on another school field trip together  – I will try to pretend I’m not there and give her the freedom she deserves with her friends 🙂

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8 thoughts on “Technically Eden is “disabled”…

  1. We have the same thing here but its the law of inclusion and its set out so no child will get left behind, it covers disabilities, language or religious barriers, schools with accommodate all. It does make it difficult for schools and local education authorities as it could rip out a huge hole in the budget. Before a lot of children didn’t get a decent education as it was all about cost and it was ‘The education fund doesn’t have the money’
    Now its parent power and much better for everyone especially for the rights of the child. 🙂

  2. Okay, so you know I had to comment on this one 🙂

    First off, as I’m sure you know, your school district is obligated by law to provide a nurse on every field trip to accompany Eden. You are being generous by going along with her–you don’t have to, regardless of the number of nurses your district has, you can insist a nurse goes with your daughter. However, I know you probably feel the need to go to protect Eden and keep her safe. I would probably do the same.

    Second, you mentioned that you’ve known people who had their schools and/or teachers ” go against a 504″. I’m wondering if they are actually going against it, or just don’t know about it. For instance, in my school, the three sixth grade teachers rotate classes for certain subjects. Technically, the students have only one teacher. We have a child in one class who is T1D. The student’s main teacher was given a copy of her 504 plan, but we (the other two teachers) were not. It is only thru the other teacher telling us about her T1D that we even knew about it. We are already just about finished with our second trimester, and have finally all been invited by the parties involved to attend a 504 plan meeting for this student. I don’t know any teacher who would knowingly “go against” a 504 plan–especially one that could potentially put a child’s life in danger. Usually it’s just lack of information. (By the way…..having been on both sides of the 504/IEP program as a parent and as a teacher, let me just say it’s an adversarial process. As a parent, you ABSOLUTELY have to fight for the rights of your child. It shouldn’t be this way, but sadly, it is.)

    I think your approach with this blog is spot on–education is the answer. There is so much misinformation out there about T1D. I think your calling has found you Heather. Your mission is to help spread knowledge and awareness about T1D to the world!

    • I’m sure you are probably right about some teachers just not being aware a 504 is in place or that they even HAVE a T1D in their classroom. That in itself is scary enough.. But unfortunately I have seen many parents at their wits end about 504’s and medical plans not being followed and having to fight tooth and nail for the safety and rights of their child. sad but true 😦
      I do also know that if I was unable to go on the field trip a nurse would be provided – but honestly, Eden doesn’t necessarily like that her mother has to tag along let alone needing the school nurse to be there! At least I can just be one of the other parents attending so she doesn’t really feel that different…

      and I’m loving my new “job” 🙂 🙂

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