Preschool for my daughter with type 1?


(denisem5823) #1

Hi,

My daughter is going to be 3. She was dx about 3 months ago, and before she was dx she was in a nursery school for about 2 days a week. When she was dx we decided to take her out because of the nervousness and all the tweeking of her insulin. The nursey school was only 2 1/2 hrs a day from 8:30 to 11:00. I didnt feel comfortable putting her back in. There was no teacher or staff member familiar with type 1 or schooled on what to do. We put her in gymnastics 1 day a week and looking into putting her ice skating. But i would really like to put her in a school program 2 days a week just to interact with other children but unfortunaley there seems to be no nurses and my daughter is not pumping. Any suggestions?????????????


(Mom2Kathy) #2

You know, I think those of us with young ones are most concerned with the school or daycare taking care of them when we can't.  Kathy is in a private school and I was adament that her teacher, before/after caregivers and the office knew everything.  I typed up a long detailed list of what to expect - when she should check her sugar, what good numbers are, what is hypo/hyperglycemia, what to expect when she is either of those, what she can/can't eat, when she needs to eat, etc.  I felt the more they knew the better I felt.  And she is able to call me anytime she needs to, which is great since I'm away from her for almost 10 hours a day.  They have been very understanding and since she's the only one in the school with Type 1, they have all learned. 

I would definitely talk to the people in charge of your preschool and any person that will be around your daughter and make sure they are aware of what to look for.  Educate them on EVERYTHING.  Make sure there is a Glucagon in the office, her room, and wherever else it's most convenient and also make sure they know how to use and would be able to do it in an emergency.  If she is going to be there for only a few hours, that's a good start.  At some point she'll be older and gone longer so a slow transition is best.  She probably won't need insulin adjustments in that short time so there is no need for injections, just sugar checks.

I think by law they are required to assist and cannot discriminate against her being there, but education is the best thing you can do.  The more they know, the better.  Let us know how it goes!


(mamacolby) #3

Now this might seem terribly irresponsible to some, but as a mother I am really trying to think of my son, Colby first and then the diabetes.  I didn't feel comfortable to put him back in to daycare, but that has worked out really well so far.  He was in pre-school before so I wanted him back in ASAP so things were "normal" again and he loves school so much.  Anyways, they certainly do not have a nurse on staff and most preshools will not simply because they are licensed the same as a daycare.  Even some elementary schools do not always have a full-time nurse on staff.  So to deal with this there are two things that are important: 1. Have any of the local preschools or even nursery schools taken diabetes training and/or are they willing to?  My son's preschool has this training thank goodness!  So ask that question and then you really do not need to worry about them having a nurse.  2. Know that even before the diabetes, we as parents usually always have reservations about giving our kids care over to someone else.  So you have to take that leap and know that most schools will try their best even without a nurse.  Is there a Head Start in your area because that is my second suggestion.  If you qualify (mostly low income) then they help all sorts of families with preschool needs.

Or alternatively you could offer to "train" the staff yourself.  I made a diabetic light kit for my daycare lady, spent a few hours going over things with her, and things have been very good.  I guess it helps that her fiancee is type one also, but it is really just finding those people who are willing to get on board with your needs.  May take some time, but will be worth the effort for your little one.  Best of luck!


(mamacolby) #4

Actually I take it all (mostly) back.  I am fairly angry right now, so forgive me.  I took the required paperwork back to my son's preschool today to get him started back to school.  Was just chatting with the office lady about testing and injections and she gets this look on her face like I must be insane.  So then it is, lets go get the center director.  The center director is told about testing and injections (possible) and it is like I have hit a wall.  I had mentioned it before and now it is like I am speaking Japanese to a room full of elephants.  Basically boils down to, she took the paperwork, will forward to Administration and "We'll see."  Are you kidding me?  How could I have been so naive! 

My options are kind of limited since I barely afford daycare and adding a preschool expense to that will mean a second job and time away from my son and insanity!  A small town like mine also does not have many options available, but I guess we'll see...lol but not really. 


(denisem5823) #5

i dont blame you for being angry.  Its seems once you start telling anyone about injections and bs testing they want to run for the hills.  I beleive a preschools and daycares should be trained on how to administer injections, ck bs and give the glucagon. Just like a life guard needs to know cpr. This really fustrates me. I cant even find a baby sitter either for this reason. ughhh


(mismidge) #6

We did the same thing, almost. We did try to send him back and she did not grasp the idea. We ended up waiting and sending him to kindergarden. We skipped the whole preschool step. Good that you want to keep her active. Ethan played hockey and we kept that going with no interruptions. I know we have for the schools in michigan, a 504 plan. I think it is national, but not sure. it has been a wonderful tool for us and schooling. I did all the teaching for the staff up till this year.  Best of luck. This was one of our biggest challenges.


(mamacolby) #7

mismidge,

Did you find that Ethan had any issues in kindergarden because he did not go to preschool?

I only ask because it seems like school is so much more intense, more so than I remember anyways.  I just worry that if Colby cannot go to preschool that maybe he might not be as prepared for kindergarden, ya know?  But if your son did it, then seems like it is not the worst that could happen :)


(Drewspitboss) #8

I haven't found a pre-school yet for my son that will do it.  I was told by the administration that a school nurse can't give injestions for insurance purposes. So for now, my son's testing himself.  They're good with adjusting what he eats if his bs is high.  But they call me.

He will start kindergarden in the fall. The Elementary schools(2) in my area said I will have to come in and administer insulin for him. He's a brilliant 5 yr old but I can't trust him to dose himself yet!  So, for now, I'm planning on continuing my stint as a "stay-at-home" mother/wife!  It doesn't pay well but all the other perks are great!


(mamacolby) #9

Yeah, I called a local elementary school yesterday just to do some checking and they pretty much told me the same thing.  That I would have to come in to do his testing and injections because the district nurse isn't always on site.  I work close enough, but it is a year and a half away and a lot can change in that time.  Maybe it is finally time for me to go back to school full time ;)


(GaryMonheit) #10

Our daughter was dx late about 6 weeks ago. She is 3 1/2 and was in her 2nd year at a preschool very close to our house. Here's our experience: Compare to some of the other responses, I guess we're on the lucky side. We really want to keep her in the school since she loves it, and has already bonded with kids and teachers there. My wife has done an amazing amount of work, while I took 2 weeks off of work, but now I have to get back and make sure I can stay employed. We got her back to school the 1st week with the 2 of us taking turns with finger pricks and monitoring all the eating.  By the 2nd week, 2 teachers volunteered to go to our hospital to get an hour training with the diabetic nurse. Also, my wife went and gave a 15 min presentation at the preschool faculty meeting so they all could be aware. We printed up one info sheet for all the faculty, and a more detailed sheet for the classroom. One of the teachers is really great at finger pricks and one has been learning a bit slowly. We finally acheived our goal which was to let the teacher finger prick at 10:30 am, and then either my wife and I will go in to monitor the lunch. The director was initially very responsive and accepting, but since then she's having some 2nd thoughts. She suggested that we might have to pay for a "spotter" to follow our daughter the whole day. Also, in the classroom, 1 of the teachers is also much more resistant to the idea that this will work. The other is on-board.

So, it's very early in this whole transition. Hopefully it will continue to work, but I guess anything could happen.

 

 


(mismidge) #11

Colbymama,

 Most of our trouble was separation issues. Ethan had not spent much time with other in his care. Preschool defiantly prepares them for kindergarten. We did the learning part at home a lot. You know, make sure he knew his abc and could count. He also did not go to kindergarten until he was 6. He would have been an early five. His birthday is in Sept. His dad thought it would be better. He is very bright and Reads above level and learns math quickly. I do not think it altered his learning at all. Just independence.  I am confused by all of these school making kids test them selves and denying help. Maybe because it is preschool. The one Ethan was going to was private and not funded by grants, so i do not think they had to comply with rules. Our children are protected under the Americans with disabilities act. Do not be bullied by your schools.  504 plans, please make sure you get a sample one from your local jdrf or endo. It lays everything out in black and white.

 

 


(mommyofocean) #12

Hey I am not sure where you are all from but I am pretty sure that US has a 504 plan I am not quite sure on the details but here is a link http://www.diabetes.org/for-parents-and-kids/diabetes-and-the-law/know-your-rights.jsp For those is Canada and the rest of the world I am not quite sure. I am from Canada but I have not come across problems but I do know that schools, daycares, preschools do not have to by law administer insulin but I was always around to do that and the school is awesome with Oceans diabetes. I did have to train the staff as well about the facts and what Ocean does everyday! Hope that helps.

Carolyn


(delta40) #13

Hi!  I completly understand where you are coming from, my son Connor was diagnosed on December 23 my first thought was I need to pull him out of preschool(he goes Tues and Thurs from 9:10-11:40)the doctors told me to keep him in, that being in preschool would be good for him.  He was diagnosed while on Christmas break, I emailed the staff at the preschool immediately to let them know what was going on and they all wanted to meet with us right away to see how they could help.  At the meeting we decided that it would be best for me to stay in the building(the preschool is at our church)so that I would be close in the case of an emergency I wasn't too concerned about leaving him in the class while I was in the building because Connor's teacher and the office manager are both formiliar with type 1 so they know what signs to look for in the case of low's or high's.  The staff were eager to learn everything they could about how to check blood sugars and administer insulin if need be, they have scheduled an appointment with Childrens for tomorrow so that they are trained.  My first reaction when Connor was diagnosed was that I would not send him back to preschool and that I would never leave him with anyone other than my husband then I had to tell myself that, that is not fair to any of us.  I think I will feel comfortable leaving him with the preschool on Tuesday after they are trained because they will know what to do in the case of an emergency.  I am trying to keep Connor's life as normal as it was before the only thing that I have changed in his day to day life is that I don't leave him with his older brother or with other family and friends because they are not yet trained by Children's.  Good luck I know how hard it is to leave them!


(Lucas mom) #14

Denise,

My son was diagnosed on a few days after his third bday. At the time, he was  in a 2 morning a week program.  We did what you did and kept him out that year.  The following year (we moved to a different city) we looked around and finally found a preschool for him that would work with us on the diabetes.  He had to be able to prick his own finger.  They were willing to check the number he got on a handy chart I gave them and figure out how many skittles (almost exactly one carb) or how much insulin to watch him give himself.  (he had a pump by then and knew how to give a bolus but a grownup needed to check the number before he hit ok.)  I showed them the glucagon - as a tool they could choose to use in an emergency.  They were instructed to call 911 if he had seizures or passed out (has never happened at school).  He only stayed half days, but had a snack.  I looked in the pantry and gave them a list of how much to give him of each thing to add up to 15 carbs (40 goldfish, 1 small apple etc.) and they had him give himself the same amount of insulin for snack each day.

He is now in full day kindergarten at a public school.  Public schools are required to provide a nurse for him under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  She checks him several times a day and makes sure he gets snack and lunch insulin.  We are sooooo lucky the teachers aid in his class has a T1 daughter onhis same pump!

good luck. 


(Lucas mom) #15

yikes! I just looked at my previous response.  The little stars that showed up made it look like I was saying something dirty.  I was saying "stick" his finger but used the word that ryhmes but begins with "pr".  LOL


(Madisonkim) #16

Hi My daughter was diagnosed in nov2008 and already attending a preschool so I did not want to pull her out. Her daycare was not willing to have her return since there was only one worker and 8 kids. So I focused on keeping her in the  preschool two afternoons a week. The preschool is a small one with one teacher and no other staff. She was not willing to learn about the blood sugar checks so I agreed to be within 2 mins drive from school but the health nurse and I taught her all the symptoms of highs and lows to look for. Madison has just had her blood checked and lunch a few minutes before she gets to preschool. It is the best decision I ever made. Madison is three turning 4 in April and has just started to do her own blood checks so she can do them if she feels she needs it or the teacher knows the symptoms to watch for and can tell Madison to do a check and supervise then phone me and I will go straight there right by my house.


(denisem5823) #17

lol... i read that too!!! pretty funny,but i did know what you were talking about...  thank you everyone for sharing, but i havent found a preschool willing to help so i guess for right know i will put a hold on preschool until shes 4.


(amama) #18

Hi there everyone.  My son Vincent(just turned 3) was diagnosed a little over a year ago.  I too tried to place him in daycare and/or pre-schools.  This is my biggest and most enormous challenge of the disease.  Other than my significant other, there is no one, I mean no one who can care for a todddler with Type 1!!!(Well, at least where I have been looking).  I honestly cannot even leave him for more than an hour at a time now.  There is no respite care, and bc I am a single mom, well,...you can imagine....my immediate family (even a sister who is an RN/school nurse and cares for other diabetic kids)... she does not even get the magnitude of the 24/7 sometimes around the clock hourly checks and so forth.  She basically has kept him overnight twice since a diagnosis and well....our BS numbers were less than gr8.  That's pretty bad when your own immediate family runs for the hills!!!

This is a part of the disease as I read here and see that you other moms may actually understand.  Some of you have a wonderful husband, or family member, or that saint of a friend or two, or the day-care provider who jumped right in and on board with this.   But,  personally, I have not had it that easy...and my life has become totally upside down because of it.  I cannot work and earn a living anymore...It is just not possible.  As humbling as it is I have had to become totally financially dependant on the state.  I just cannot believe how crazy it is to find care!  Vincent has a December birthday, so he will not be attending Kindergarten til he is almost 6.   Therefore, I am also very very concerned about his socialization issues....I know that he has serious separation anxiety now as well.   He and I struggle everyday.  We have fun and think goodness I have a degree in early childhood education and was an elementary school teacher. But it is totally different when it's your own child....and just the tow of you all day....everyday.  I have met another mom in my area who has a little girl (4) with Type 1 and we hang out quite a bit. But, I know that this  is not normal to spend this amount of time with your child at age 3 ( I am never awaY  from him at all....like ever....we even are sleeping together ...no really I am serious bc  most nights I do the  checking for lows and sometimes for no reason crazy growth- sppurt Highs......Basically ,it looks like we will be together 24/7 , until he can go to public school.   Oh and if you are wondering about me going to the school with him.....like pre-school....it costs a ton of money.....which I have no income and what they pay daycare and pre-school workers...I would barely break even to afford his tuition.  So you see we Vincent  and I  are as I say to people out there  who just don't get it...... "WE ARE STUCK!!'   And unfuortunately because of pure ignorance (not including of course anyone out there who is reading this....you know the people out there who have no clue to what  care is involved or what this disease entails for toddlers/ younger children.... we are made to suffer all around but mainly suffer emotionally because of this.   

Now...I know a lot of you will say oh c, mon she has not looked....well...you are dead wrong....I did and am still looking...and sorry but I know what Vincent needs and there has not been one place out there that I would feel comfortable leaving him at this stage in game .  However, I am in the early early stages of opening my own daycare/preschool and I will only allow Type 1 children in!!!LOL!! Ha- HA!!!!


(Drewspitboss) #19

Wow, I feel for you.  I'm in a similar situation.  I also do not work because of his dx.  On the otherhand I have a little more outside support. With that said, Andrew is in a school that cost a monthly small college rate ($680), paid for by his father. But at first I was told to look into the Intermediate Units for my area.  They run the Head Start programs.  Usually, they will enroll children with any issues.  My son doesn't attend because it's far enough from me that the commute would be senseless.

Most state insurances cover a Endo nurse to come out and instruct the staff on how to handle diabetes. Also, through your insurance you should have access to a social worker through the hospital of diagnosis.  Ask your sons Endo dept, they can be very helpful.

If I may ask, what part of MD do you live in?  My mother in law works in the education field and I will ask her if she knows of any way to help or other places you can contact in your area. 

 

It's not easy. But the one thing I have learned is the internet is sooo helpful with research.


(Lucas mom) #20

amama,

I hear your frustration.   Anyway, your bio says you are in Baltimore and I am too and here is what I found for Lucas.  Right now Lucas (and his younger brother - just turned 4) are in a public charter school in the city.  Baltimore Montessori http://baltimoremontessoriinc.com/baltimore_public_charter_school.cfm- it is in station north.  They will take 3 year olds (3 years by September) full day for free - it is public.  They ARE WONDERFUL with the diabetes and with the education.  If you don't know anything about Montessori, they have mixed age classes so from age 3-5 they stay in the same class with the same teacher (this is good as the teacher knows your child and you don't have to start all over every year).  One of the Children's House classes (ages 3-5) has a full time teachers aide that has a child with diabetes - you can request this class if you get in.  She knows how to assist with blood sugar checks, help with pump, count carbs and recognize symptoms.  There is a full time nurse at the school who is...well, she is sweet but not totally skilled...she does call me everyday at 12:20 to tell me his #'s from the checks and we make a plan for additional checks to be done that day.  You have to live in the city limits to go to the school and you are accepted by lottery - the deadline is coming up for next year.  The preschool Lucas went to is First English Lutheran in Guillford.  They were willing to participate in his care but the hours vs. the cost of the school would not be helpful for you as you could not hold a job for the few hours he was in school.

Hope you find some support - we could also touch base for when you need a break.

Christine