Alternative Schooling for Children with Type 1

Readers share what they did when public school wasn’t compatible with blood sugar control.



We recently posted about a study which found that teens with Type 1 were at greater risk of dropping out. On our Facebook page, readers shared stories of needing to seek alternatives to public school for children with Type 1. Here are some of their comments:

I pulled my son out in second grade and started homeschooling him because the school was treating his highs and lows as a behavioral problem and refused to properly work with us. I’ve been home schooling him ever since then, and he’s in eighth grade now.
-Leisa V.

We homeschool. The school was very accommodating, but the school day schedule was not good for blood sugar numbers. Homeschooling has been wonderful!
-Theola G.

Read “The School Nurse Who Cares for 8 Kids with Type 1”.

I definitely had problems. I ended up getting my GED in 10th grade and was done with it.
-Nick H.

I was kicked out of a public school in fifth grade for having Type 1 diabetes. The school said they weren’t capable of dealing with me. This was in 1986, and it was a blessing in disguise. I began private school, and eventually earned two undergraduate degrees and my MBA.
-Lacy C.

I was fortunate enough to have parents who advocated for me relentlessly, and I received homebound instruction when I was out for weeks at a time. Online school wasn’t available for me back then, but I think it would have been a much better option for me.
-Kate R.

To learn more about the law surrounding diabetes care in school read “Inconsistent Type 1 Care at Schools.”

My son is 17 and has spent the last four years struggling with a hormonal issue that wreaks havoc on his blood glucose. The public school has not helped much and he is now going into a GED program at the community college because he feels so lost and unsupported by the school district.
-Niki M.

Read about an education lawsuit involving a child with Type 1 in “Private School Expels Child With Type 1.”

I enrolled my daughter in an online school at the beginning of seventh grade after she was diagnosed a year before. The flexibility of her school-day has helped her to manage her diabetes properly and independently, while reaching for the stars academically. She is graduating from high school in two months with honors, and is ranked fourth in her class. She plans to become a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!
-Toni W.

While children with Type 1 have the right to be accommodated by the public school system for their condition, it is also true that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to education. If you would like to share a story of education and Type 1 diabetes, please email me at cidlebrook@selfrx.com.

Comments have been edited for clarity.

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Craig Idlebrook is a past editor for Insulin Nation, Type 2 Nation, and Información Sobre Diabetes. He is now the community engagement and content manager for T1D Exchange.