School, “I’m READY for the FIGHT!!!!!!!”

fightersI cannot tell you how many times I have heard this comment and with school starting soon, and when it comes to diabetes, it serves as a reminder:  DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE YOU GO TO SCHOOL.

You should be armed and ready for your meeting regarding your child and how the school deals with diabetes.  THIS IS YOUR CHILD.  Your school has concerns for hundreds (or more) of kids and if you think they are spending a ton of time on your child’s diabetes concerns, you would be wrong. They are spending the time needed and using what has worked in prior years…..if you think it is anything more than that, you would be wrong.

They have too much on their plates.  So again I say, you should be armed and ready.  There is a ton of information on the ADA site to help you navigate your journey.  If you walk into the school like you are going to war, a war is what you will get. Go in fighting and you will fight the entire time.  If you are going in expecting them to do all of the work, you will leave sorely disappointed.

Be polite, not condescending, firm, respectful (“I pay your salary” is clearly a phrase that will accomplish nothing) and know your facts.  FACTS. It should be a dialogue.  And let me tell you your results.

You will get most of what you want, but not all.

You will get little of what you asked, and you will have to do more homework (there are many rules and regulations with each school district—so take many notes), leave with the understanding that you will converse again in the near future.

You do not HAVE TO SIGN ANYTHING THERE.  If you are uncomfortable with anything, tell them the following; “As you know, I cannot do anything without consulting our family adviser—you, nor the school would do anything without legal expertise; and we need to do the same.  So let me take a copy of this and I will get back to you in short order.”  If they say that they would not be able to tend to your child unless you sign the 504 plan they have (or any other document) than tell them you’ll sign it but you want the words “Draft, pending final approval” across the top; and all participants around the table should initial it as well.

But most of your work needs to be done BEFORE you walk in the room.  Look, I am no genius but I went into our meeting with a bound-multi-page-many-points document that after they told me what they thought the 504 plan should be, I respectfully submitted mine.  They said no to two points—-their lawyers made it legal, and we signed.

Guess what?  It is now the norm in the school district.  I tell you that so you know that YOU CAN FOSTER CHANGE—–IT’S UP TO YOU.

So be ready, be polite, be firm……….and good luck.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

 

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