Back To School With Diabetes

How parents can properly prepare their child with diabetes for the new school year with a 504 Plan

We’re back to that time of year:

It’s back to school time!

I’m sure most of you who are parents or guardians have already started planning for the new school year. Setting up appointments to get immunizations and a physical. A dental cleaning for your kids. Getting the best deals on school supplies and clothes, saving up for those secondary school fees, or finding an after-school program for your child. 

What about setting up a 504 accommodations plan for your child with diabetes at school?

What is a 504 Plan?

A “504 Plan” is a plan developed to comply with a federal law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.The 504 Plan details the steps the school will take to keep students with disabilities safe, ensure they have the same opportunities to learn as other children, and ensure they are treated fairly. This can be used to ensure that students, parents/guardians, and school staff understand their responsibilities and to minimize misunderstandings.

Diabetes of all types is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is, therefore, very important for parents of children with diabetes to take advantage of this and to ensure that their children are safe and treated fairly in school.

The 504 plan describes a broad range of services and accommodations that are often needed by students with diabetes, ranging from kindergarteners to high school seniors. All plans should specify that school staff must receive training to recognize hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia and respond accordingly.

A student’s plan should be tailored to his or her specific needs, abilities, and medical condition. Make sure that only provisions that are relevant to a particular child are included. 

How To Pursue a 504 Plan

  • Collect all the information and data about your child and their condition. This includes official diagnosis and medical records from all doctors and specialists treating your child.
  • Write a letter explaining your reasons and requesting accommodations.
  • Ask the school district for a 504 Plan for your child. Follow the 504 Plan Coordinator’s procedures to request a 504 Plan.
  • Keep in touch with the coordinator to determine the progress of the 504 Plan process.

The American Diabetes Association offers a sample 504 plan and examples of accommodations that can be downloaded.

Now is the perfect time to make sure that your child will be treated fairly when he or she has diabetes. Let’s make this school year a healthy one!

Until Next Time,

The Genetic Diabetic

Sound Off: Supreme Court Upholds the Affordable Care Act

Big news for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions

Last week, in a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA), preserving critical patient protections.

The ACA helps currently protects people with pre-existing conditions from discrimination, while expanding healthcare coverage for young adults, and increasing access to free and preventive health services.

A joint amicus brief- also known as a “Friend-of the-court brief,” was filed representing millions of patients with serious illnesses from various state representatives, patient groups and organizations, including the American Diabetes Association, in support of upholding the ACA.

The Supreme Court ruled the plaintiff states and taxpayers (which included the state of Texas, over a dozen additional states, and two individuals) did not have legal standing to bring their lawsuit, which aimed to get the entire health care law struck down.

If the ACA had been repealed, about 20 million Americans would have been uninsured.

As a result of the ruling, patient protections that prohibited insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, requiring health plans to offer essential benefits, and eliminating arbitrary dollar limits on coverage will remain in place. The ruling will also keep current tax credits that keep health insurance affordable for Americans, along with federal funding to help states provide vital Medicaid coverage to low-income adults.

Let’s sound off in the comments!

1. What are your thoughts about the ruling?

2. Have you tried to apply for health insurance since your diagnosis? If so, did you experience any difficulty obtaining insurance or with the cost of insurance?