Going to school
School is such a big part of your life and despite having type 1 diabetes, there is no getting out of it. So it is really important that you manage your type 1 at school just as you would at home.
There’s lots to think about though, telling your teachers and your classmates, checking your blood glucose levels and taking the right amount of insulin and making sure you get enough snacks. The biggest worry you probably have though is what your mates will think when you are doing all of these things.
Let’s face it, your school rules probably weren’t made with pupils with type 1 in mind. If you’re not allowed to eat in class then what do you do when you have low blood sugar and need a snack? Will they let you test in class, or do you have to go to the nurse’s office (that’s if your school has one)? What about your injections?
All the experts and other young people with type 1 diabetes will tell you that the best thing to do is plan ahead. You and your parents should meet with your teacher to go over your care plan, so that they know the things you need to do during the school day to look after your type 1, and also so they know how to spot when your blood sugar is low. It’s up to you and your parents though to help them understand the effect that type 1 has on you.
We have a school e-learning module, which is a great tool to help teachers and those who work with children or young people living type 1 diabetes to support them appropriately.
You might also be worried about the other people at school and the things they might say to wind you up or hassle you. Some of this is down to ignorance, I mean how much did you know about type 1 before you got it? Hopefully your teacher can work with you to educate everyone about your type 1. Another thing is to tell your close friends about type 1 and in time they can spread the word to others and back you up when it all gets too much. You can also ask others with type 1 what they do at school when other kids tease them or make life hard. I bet they can give you a few one-liners that they’ve used in the past.
We have information and support to ensure your school life is a normal, enjoyable and healthy experience. It’s vital for you, your parents, healthcare professionals and schools to work together to make this happen and for your school to understand your needs.