So here is the thing. I have seen quite a lot of coverage in recent days and even shared a post or two about the Diabetes in Schools Program being implemented in 2020 – without question there has been a significant investment made by the Australian Government and having this program launched, with the sole focus being on managing Type 1 Diabetes while the child is at school, is awesome. There is no doubt about that.
I am very curious to see the end result and how my teenage daughter might be better supported while at school, on excursions or camps. She is 15 however and may not need the same support as a child in preschool or primary school, this I am sure of. The Diabetes in Schools program has had significant time invested by wonderful parents, myself included, and a big hello to the parents that I have had the pleasure to meet. Ideas have been thrown around, discussions have been had and situations thought through. There is so much that lies in the management of this condition, I am sure it has been a difficult process to get to this point.
Until the Diabetes in Schools Program is implemented, however, you may not be aware that there is another program which has been up and running for just over two years – they are the Type 1 Diabetes Learning Centre Modules. These short, online courses have been created in consultation with clinicians and are supported by the International Society of Paediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD). Just last month, these modules were recognised with an award by ISPAD – not bad for an Australian Foundation and one that we should support. I am a huge fan of supporting grass roots in the Type 1 Diabetes space because this is where huge differences can be made in a short period of time.
I have just completed my first module online and must say that it is easy to understand and it might just fill the gap of your schools’ knowledge at the present time. Lucky for me, I scored very well and was marked 100%. Whew!
So, until the time comes for the Diabetes in Schools Program to be released, I encourage you to please look at these modules and share with those who provide support to your child and who need to understand the diagnosis. It doesn’t cover every aspect of Type 1 Diabetes management but at the end of the day, these programs can only define the parameters in which we work in. Daily decisions around carbs, insulin amounts and administration, activity etc need to be made by us, the parents and carers. Schools are not clinicians but they are part of the Golden Triangle of support.
Keep up the good work Type 1 Foundation.