September 30, 2011

I AM in Third Grade Now, Mom!

Ally's 3rd grade teacher has been amazing so far!  Honestly, I've never felt the love like I do from her.  Ally was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in February of her kindergarten year.  Her kindergarten teacher was very concerned and willing to do whatever was needed.  Ally also had extremely compassionate 1st and 2nd grade teachers.  There is just something extra special about Mrs. R.  Or maybe another way to say it is that she has come along at just the right time for Ally! 

Ally is Mrs. R's first student with Type 1 Diabetes.  She has a distant relative with T1 and she had gestational diabetes during her pregnancy, but she admits to not knowing much about caring for someone with diabetes.  I have met with her a few times.  Each time that we have met, she has been very focused, prepared with questions about Ally and questions about diabetes.  It is obvious that she has researched Type 1 Diabetes by the questions that she asks.  She told me that she has read through Ally's school packet several times.  She wants to understand the whole picture, much more than "When should I send her to the clinic?"

The latest conversation with Mrs. R was about our choices for educating Ally's classmates and their families about Type 1 Diabetes.  Mrs. R wanted Ally to decide how and when the information would be delivered to her classmates, as well as who she would like to do it.  In both 1st and 2nd grades, I went into the classroom and read the book Lara Takes Charge by Rocky Lang and Sally Huss.  It is a cute story about a little girl with type 1 diabetes.  I like it because it is colorful, doesn't deliver more information than young children can understand (or need to know!) and the little girl in the story wears an insulin pump.

This year, Ally told me that she didn't want me to read that book to the class.  I realize that she is in 3rd grade now, and maybe having your mom read a book to the class is less appealing than it has been in the past!  She also says that the book is kind of "babyish."
I found this article, Back-to-School Tips for Parents Managing a Child with Diabetes on I especially liked the section titled "Get and Keep The Child Involved." It has this advice...
Depending on the age and how long the child has had the disease, a child with diabetes is generally happier and healthier the more s/he is involved with the diabetes care. It is key to engage the child in the school plan and letting him or her help choose when and how fellow students learn about diabetes. Keep the lines of communication open about managing diabetes at school and while the child can help in the care, diabetes is not a do-it-yourself disease, so the adults at school need to remain involved.
Ok, I got the message.  So, I asked Ally how she would like to share information about diabetes with her classmates.  She quickly reminded me of an amazing video that we had watched together.  It was shared by a fellow D Mama and facebook friend, Kim.  Her 6 year old daughter, Avery, tells all about having Type 1 Diabetes.  It is really awesome!  Ally thought that she might like to make a similar video.  I loved this idea!  But then when she came home from school the next day, she plopped down on the computer, opened up PowerPoint (I didn't even know I had it on my laptop!) and began writing her own story.  I was so happy that she had felt empowered to do this on her own.  I think that she will be so comfortable sharing this story, with real pictures of her pump and other diabetes supplies.  She and her teacher are working out the details about sharing it with the calss.  We printed and laminated her story, but since she used PowerPoint, they may choose to share it on the Smart Board instead!

And if you have not seen this video by the amazing Avery, you will definitely want to check it out!  So inspiring!!



  1. Charlotte is singing the "same" tune this year too! Great idea...and I am totally impressed that Ally is putting together a Powerpoint!
    And can I just add that Avery is awesome!!!

  2. LOVE!!!! I can't WAIT to see her Powerpoint Presentation!!!!

    Love that girl ;)

  3. How cool! She is growing up fast! Can't believe she did a power point presentation. Wow!

  4. She did a PowerPoint presentation on her own??? Amazing! I'd love to see it.

    So glad you shared that video. I hadn't seen it before. I want to show it to Jack. Avery is adorable!

  5. wow, what a girl! Glad she's feeling so ready to tackle the education aspect in an appropriate manner for her and her classmates. Can't wait to hear how it all goes/went :)

  6. I can not wait ton see this! And I want to borrow it! And show Sweets. By the way- we miss you! Let's get together soon!


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