Back to School Tips for Diabetes Management: Teacher Edition

Talk to your child's teacher about diabetes before the school year starts so everyone is on the same page

All August, the Joslin Blog is highlighting stories about heading back to school with diabetes. This story was originally posted on Aug. 21, 2013.

With the first day of school quickly approaching, preparation for the new school year is already underway. For parents of children with diabetes, this preparation includes opening a line of communication with their child’s teacher to ensure that he or she understands basic diabetes management for their student.

Jennifer Griffin, M.S., C.C.L.S. and a Child Life Specialist at Joslin, and Debbie Butler, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W., C.D.E. and Associate Director of the Pediatric Programs at Joslin, have provided some useful tips for parents, teachers and children to ensure that the transition back to school goes smoothly for all involved.

What parents of children with diabetes should say to teachers:

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Diabetes and the School Lunch

All August, the Joslin Blog is highlighting stories about heading back to school with diabetes. This story was originally posted on Aug. 2, 2011.

School lunches are notoriously high in carbohydrates and fats, but most school lunch programs now are trying to be healthier, according to Emily Werner, RD, LDN, a dietitian in the Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult section at Joslin Diabetes Center.

Though not every meal is nutritious, schools usually offer healthier options as well.

With a little advance planning, lunches purchased at school or brought from home can be healthy and appropriate for your child’s diabetes meal plan. Continue reading →

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Doing a Classroom Presentation on Diabetes for Elementary School Age Children

All August, the Joslin Blog is highlighting stories about heading back to school with diabetes. This story was originally posted on Aug. 3, 2011.

When kids with diabetes go to school, parents often have to do a lot of teaching.

Unless the staff and other children have already been educated on diabetes (by having another student with diabetes in the classroom), you may be surprised by how little the kids, teachers and staff know about diabetes.

Your task will be to teach them about diabetes, about what your child does to manage his/her diabetes and what they need to do to help your child manage his/her diabetes at school and during school activities.

One of the things you can do is to put together a “diabetes lesson” for your child’s class.

The staff of the Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult section at Joslin Diabetes Center offers an extensive list of helpful tips and guidelines based on their experience working with parents to get ready for a classroom presentation on diabetes for elementary school-age children.  Continue reading→

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Off to College with Diabetes | Tips for Parents

Christina Roth is the Founder and President of the College Diabetes Network (CDN) and a research assistant at Joslin Diabetes Center.

All August, the Joslin Blog is highlighting stories about heading back to school with diabetes. This story was originally posted on Aug. 5, 2011.

Today’s guest blog is by Christina Roth, President & Founder of the College Diabetes Network (CDN) www.collegediabetesnetwork.org

Is your child going off to college? Feeling nervous? You’re not alone!

Sending your son or daughter off to college is stressful! Being the parent of a child with diabetes and sending them off to college? Terrifying!

The College Diabetes Network (CDN) was founded to support college students living with diabetes, and as parents are a HUGE part of diabetes management even at college, CDN helps to support parents during this transition as well.

The CDN website has tips on sending your child off to college, tips on how to deal with the transition, ways to connect with other parents, and personal stories.

Some of our tips include: Continue reading

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Back to School with Diabetes | The Basics

All August, the Joslin Blog is highlighting stories about preparing to go back to school. This story was originally posted on Aug. 1, 2011.

Starting a new grade, new school or beginning college can be very stressful even without having diabetes.

So, if your child has diabetes—or you have diabetes and you’re getting ready for school—it’s  never too early to start planning for the new school year.

With a bit of forethought you can funnel your anxiety into making sure you or your children are up on the latest school fashions instead of worrying about handling your or your child’s diabetes.  Here are a few of the basics. Continue reading

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The Emotional Impact of Diabetes on Family Members

Some studies have looked into the impact of diabetes on family members

All July, the Joslin Blog is highlighting stories about taking care of yourself emotionally. This story was originally posted on Sept. 27, 2013.

While some people choose to manage their diabetes on their own, family members also live with diabetes and witness their loved one’s diabetes management. Until recently, there was very little data that examined the emotional impact of diabetes for family members of people with diabetes. This lack of information prompted healthcare companies, such as Novo Nordisk, as well as Joslin Diabetes Center, to explore the impact of diabetes on family members in clinical studies.

Novo Nordisk conducted the Diabetes Attitudes, Wishes and Needs 2 (DAWN2) study, a global study aimed at understanding the unmet needs for people with diabetes and their families. In addition, this study hoped that their results would improve self-management and psychological support in diabetes care.

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Don’t Go It Alone: How Do You Get the Support You Need?

All July, the Joslin Blog is highlighting stories about taking care of yourself emotionally. This story was originally posted on July 24, 2013.

When the 2013 American Diabetes Association Medical Guidelines for Diabetes came out, they included a reference to patient support. This is a watershed in many ways because it recognizes in one fell swoop the impact of diabetes’ chronic nature on the ability of people to manage the disease.  It acknowledges that all the clinical interventions and education in the world won’t be sufficient if patients do not receive continued support. It essentially says this disease is too hard to handle all on your own and we expect that you will need help (of differing amounts and kinds) as you life with diabetes goes on.

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Mindful Eating to Help Your Diabetes

All July, the Joslin Blog is highlighting stories about taking care of yourself emotionally. This story was originally posted on May 4, 2012.

“I know what I should do, I just can’t get myself to do it!” It’s a refrain dieticians hear too often from patients having trouble changing their diets. And seven out of ten times they are right–they do know what to do. The basics of a healthful diet can be found in any good nutrition book or reliable website. But it’s the act of eating that people have lost touch with, and getting that back will aid with major changes in eating styles.

This is where the idea of mindful eating comes in. Mindfulness means paying attention or being aware of what is happening to you both physically and emotionally at each particular moment without judging your feelings. It’s that whole idea of being “in the moment” without past or future concerns intruding.

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How to Help a Teen with Diabetes Burnout

Diabetes can be overwhelming, especially for teens.

All July, the Joslin Blog is highlighting stories about taking care of yourself emotionally. This story was originally posted on March 3, 2014.

Growing up with type 1 diabetes adds an extra burden of responsibility to an already overwhelmed teen. In many cases, these teens have had to deal with insulin injections, carb counting, and the fear of overnight lows for years. It’s very likely that at some point, they’ll just want to quit. But type 1 diabetes isn’t like Girl Scouts or soccer or any interest a teen might outgrow. Throw into the mix shifting blood glucose numbers and social issues related to being different from peers, and frustration with the situation can lead to something called diabetes burnout.

Anyone with diabetes is subject to burnout—this isn’t a phenomenon unique to being a teenager. But in these cases parents may mistakenly read the situation as a form of rebellion.

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Joslin Communications Internship Opportunities

Come be a part of our team! Joslin Diabetes Center Communications Department is looking for two interns for the fall semester.

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