Written Care Plans
Creating a plan for how diabetes will be managed at school should be a team effort that includes school staff, families, and health care providers. It is vitally important that the work of this team is documented in written plans.
The Diabetes Medical Management Plan (DMMP) or physician's order, is the foundation for the development of all school-based care plans. The DMMP is the medical basis for an Individualized Health Plan (IHP), written by the school nurse, which specifies what, where, when, and by whom diabetes care tasks will be provided in school.
The IHP documents how care should be provided, but does not provide legal protections for either schools, students, or families. Accordingly, the American Diabetes Association recommends that all students with diabetes have either a Section 504 Accommodations Plan or an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), depending on eligibility.
Both 504 plans and IEPs provide protections and services under federal disability laws, and can address both medical and educational issues. The accommodations and services that are detailed in a 504 accommodations plan or IEP, are those that are needed to ensure that diabetes does not become a barrier to educational opportunities.
Some diabetes management tasks can be done with little or no disruption to the student's school activities. For most students with diabetes, however, modest accommodations are necessary (e.g. perhaps to allow a student to eat, or to use the water fountain or bathroom, or to retake a test because of a low blood glucose reaction).
The DMMP is developed with the specific needs of an individual student in mind.
An IEP is more specific and focused than a 504 Plan detailing the student's academic current level of functioning, needs, supports, and goals.
The 504 Plan sets out an agreement to make sure the student with diabetes has the same access to education as other children.
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