When I got up this morning and checked today’s blog week theme, my first thought was “Wow! What a great day for this topic!”
Today my sweet 13 year old, 7th grade daughter with T1 is on her way to Vanderbilt University in Nashville for an awards ceremony. Back in February, she took the ACT (yep, that ACT the one juniors and seniors in high school take) as part of Duke University’s Duke TIP program, which identities gifted and talented children from 4th grade to 7th. BD, (before diabetes) as a 4th grader, KC was accepted into the first level of the Duke Tip program based on her Iowa Test of Basic Skills scores. In 6th grade, she was accepted for phase 2…which allows 7th graders to take the SAT or ACT alongside high school students. 7th graders who score better than 50% of the high schoolers taking the exam are given awards. And my sweet girl rocked the ACT! She is considered ready for college level courses! Woo hoo!
T1 diabetes has not slowed her down. It does not keep her from achieving. We have never considered the fact that T1 diabetes is considered a disability or a special need. Yes, we have some accommodations in place at school like being able to test bg any time, any place. And of course, being able to treat highs or lows…. KC has maintained straight A’s since dx with no further accommodations. She doesn’t check bg before tests–but she wears a cgm, so she will be alerted if she is out of normal bg range.
And then came registration for the ACT….and there it was….under “Special Needs” the word DIABETES. We had to send in documentation from the school allowing KC to check bg as needed during the test and have water + food/drink to treat lows on her desk during testing. We did not ask for extra time or a separate room. Just that she be able to test and treat as needed. ACT provided her with that accommodation. She felt fine during the test and never checked her bg. She had a snack when everyone else had a snack.
And she did GREAT! I noticed that her scores declined a little as the testing day wore on….but was that from her ability or fatigue or bg? I don’t know.
Will she ask for further accommodations when she takes it “for real”? That will be up to her. I do know that she will be able to take it again in 8th grade “for fun” so we will see how she does after that to help us decide what route to take in the future.
So her accomplishment was a great score and great management during the test. My accomplishment was getting her what she needed from the ACT and giving her the wings so she can fly!
Sadly, I’m not with her today at the ceremony….only 1 parent was allowed to attend. So it is a Daddy/Daughter Day! Another accomplishment –because today Dad is completely in charge of her T1 management! One more step toward her independence!