If your child has special medical needs, starting school can seem overwhelming. Having the correct information and resources in place will help make the process smoother for you and your child.
Prepare for school by taking these steps.
Contact the school.
See what resources the school has available and what your child will require before your child’s first day. Here are questions you should ask:
- Is there a school nurse available on site?
- Can a home care nurse accompany your child to school for the day, if needed, to tend to your child’s needs?
- If no school nurse is available on site, are there staff available who can be trained to provide the care or supervision your child needs?
- What paperwork needs to be filled out by the family or medical providers?
- Will the school require a letter of medical necessity from your child’s healthcare provider?
- Will your child require an IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) or 504 plan to be in place so they can receive the accommodations that will ensure their academic success?
Contact your child’s healthcare provider.
Request a note for school that will address your child’s diagnosis, symptoms (such as signs of low blood sugar) and treatment. Include a phone number where the provider can be reached to answer questions the school staff may have. Your provider can also help put together an Individual School Health Plan, which is often part of the IEP.
Meet with your child’s teacher before the school year begins, if possible, to start building a partnership.
Discuss your child’s needs. Explain what types of symptoms or events that should trigger a phone call to you. Consider make a cheat sheet of key points for the teacher. (Read Kaylee’s story to see how the mom of one of our patients did this.)
Pack all the medical supplies your child needs to bring to school.
- A letter from your provider outlining a plan of care
- Glucometer and supplies
- Treatment for hypoglycemia such as: snack, juice, glucose gel, glucose tablets, dextrose, glucagon, etc.