The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation just published details on two programs to help parents, students, teachers, and school administrators regarding the needs of diabetic children in the school system.  

As a parent of a child with diabetes, I have experienced first hand the challenges of working with teachers and administrators to understand the challenges that my child faces and the help that they can give. Unfortunately, often the response – born of frustration with low funding, high classroom loads, and student performance requirements – is that they will do the best they can.  Translation:  “I have to teach too many kids to just focus on one.  I don’t have that kind of time.”  I am not arguing that there is an element of truth to that feeling, but the reality is that education is all about the individual.  A child with diabetes has different needs in the educational system than other children, as do children with other challenges.

Fortunately, the JDRF announced yesterday that it has published two key support programs to help families and schools address the needs.  The School Advisory Toolkit is available from any of the 85 local JDRF chapters or online.  The second school-related program JDRF introduced is an on-line help system called the Online Diabetes Support Team.  

Thanks to JDRF for their hard work.  I pleasantly surprised a cashier at my local grocery store last night.  I heard him ask the person in front of me if he wanted to donate a $1 to JDRF.  The person politely declined and went his way.  When it came my turn, the cashier rung up my purchases, but didn’t ask me if I wanted to donate.  So, I asked him.  And then I gave him everything I had in cash in my wallet and said I wanted to donate.  The cashier was excited (I think they get kudos for how many $1 contributions they get during their shift) and my hand got rapidly tired from signing all the $1 tennis shoe shaped donation slips. It was entertaining and felt good to be donating to a good organization.