Helpful tips for school staff supporting students with type 1 diabetes
It takes a team to support their dreams!
We all have an important role to play to keep a student with type 1 diabetes safe and healthy and enable them to participate in all school activities. Teamwork, collaboration and communication between a student, their parent/carer, school staff and the health professionals are essential. It is not an expectation that a staff member manages a student with type 1 diabetes on their own.
It is important to nurture a respectful partnership between a student, parent/carer, school staff and health professionals to improve the participation in learning for a student with type 1 diabetes. Having a student be involved supports a student’s focus.
Stay in contact
When a parent/carer and school work together, a student with type 1 diabetes is more likely to do better at school. Connecting and getting to know each other creates a shared vision for the student’s learning success. Discuss the best way to get in contact and let each other know the preferred method of contact; meet in person, chat by email and/or phone. Communicate with mutual respect and be considerate of confidentiality and right to privacy.
All students have differing needs, abilities and interests. Improving the learning capacity for a student requires recognition of these individual qualities. Simply checking in with a parent/carer and student can help with what support needs are required and how to best implement them in the school. Reasonable adjustments provide the flexibility required to assure maximum capacity for learning for a student with type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is a completely manageable condition
Neither student nor the parent or carer have done anything to cause type 1 diabetes. Its cause is unknown and currently, there is no cure, however, it can be managed. Some days can be harder than others, although there are no limitations for a student with type 1 diabetes. They can do the same everyday activities with forward planning.
Insulin is essential for life
Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. A student’s insulin support needs can change from one day to the next. The clinical treating team prescribes and outlines student-specific insulin support needs in the diabetes management plan.
Every day is different and unpredictable
A student with type 1 diabetes can do the same thing twice, and their type 1 diabetes may not do the same thing both times. Type 1 diabetes doesn’t follow a set schedule and changes can happen unexpectedly. Even students who are independent may need help managing their type 1 diabetes.
Manage a student with type 1 diabetes the same as any other student
A student with type 1 diabetes wants to be just like any other student. Every student should have the same learning experiences. As with all students at school, it is important to expect students with type 1 diabetes to follow the rules and routines.