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May 18, 2022

Episode #71 Part 2: The 411 on the 504 with Leigh Fickling

Episode #71 Part 2: The 411 on the 504 with Leigh Fickling

The 504 plan! What is it? What's in it? And how can we make sure our children living with type 1 diabetes are cared for and safe in the school setting while also receiving the accommodations they need to thrive. My guest, today is a repeat guest, Leigh Fickling. (Check out links below for Leigh's other episode). Leigh works in the world of higher education and is also an attorney with a passion for making sure families are empowered and equipped when they walk into their child's 504 plan meeting during each school year. Leigh and I talk all about the 504 plan. What it is. What it's not. What to put in it and how to use it to make everyone's life a little safer and easier when it comes to sending your T1D kiddo off to school. Make sure to check out the first episode I did on the 504, episode #16 (see link below). Enjoy!

ALL THE LINKS
Leigh's email: lfickling@childrenwithdiabetes.com
ADA website with the 504 Plan Template
Episode #16: Part 1: The 411 on the 504 Plan with Janelle Haas
Episode #46: Children with Diabetes (CWD) and Friends for Life Conferences with Marissa and Leigh

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Transcript

Katie:

Well, hello there. This is episode 70, one of the sugar mamas podcast. And I'm your host, Katie Roseborough here in real time. It is a few weeks before school gets out. And as I've talked a ton about on social media, the podcast is getting ready to launch into a 10 week series on the book. Think like a pancreas by Gary. If this is the first time you were hearing about this, go get yourself a copy of that book. So you can be prepared to follow along as we go through one chapter a week for 10 weeks, you won't want to miss it. That book is so fabulous. I have learned so much about how to manage my daughter's type one. From that book, I will leave an Amazon link in the show notes where you can get York. But I was thinking ahead at the beginning of the year. And I decided I really wanted to do a very mini series on back to school to get people prepared for that coming up in August or September later this year. So I know the school year isn't even over yet, but I also know there won't be a time to fit this in with the think like a pancreas book series coming up. Therefore, I am dropping it here today and there will be another back to school episode next week. Now I've done an episode on the 5 0 4 plan before with Janell Haas. That was episode number 16, but I wanted to dive back in and cover a bit more since it is such a hot button topic. If you're listening from outside the United States. Hello, I am so glad you're here, but don't turn this one off just because your country doesn't have a 5 0 4. Maybe you have something similar. I'm not sure this is a great episode to tune into. So you're type one. Diabetic can hopefully have the accommodations. They need to be successful and treated fairly. In their school setting. My guest today is the fantastic Leigh. Fickling. she is a returning guest as you will, soon here, but we are going to go ahead and get started and I will let her introduce herself. Here we are. You're listening to the sugar mamas podcast, a show designed for moms and caregivers of type one diabetics here. You'll find a community of like-minded people who are striving daily to keep their kids safe, happy, and healthy in the ever-changing world of type one. I'm your host and fellow T one D mom, Katie Roseboro. Before we get started. I need you to know that nothing you hear on the sugar mamas podcast should be considered medical advice. Please be safe, be smart, and always consult your physician before making changes to the way you manage type one diabetes. Thanks. Everybody I'm here with Lee Fickling and Lee has been a guest on the show before she came on to talk with me and Marissa town all about children with diabetes and their friends for life conferences. I will put a link in the show notes to that episode in case you're interested in going back and learning more about that. And all of their fun stuff they have going on. CWD but during that episode, Lee happened to mention that she is pretty involved in 5 0 4 advocacy. And so I was like, well, you know, I'm gonna have to have you back on to talk about that. I have done an episode on the. For plan before that's episode number 16 it's called the 4 1 1 on the 5 0 4. But because this is such a topic that I feel like comes up all the time over and over again on social media platforms. I definitely just thought it would be a good idea to have another conversation about it. Maybe dive a little deeper here from a different person, a different perspective. So Lee, why don't you introduce yourself again? And just tell us how you're connected to the world of type one briefly, and then how you're connected to the world of 5 0 4 plans.

Leigh:

Hey, thanks so much for having me on I'm so excited to be back with you. My name is Lee fiddling. I live in North Carolina. I am the parent to 12 year old twins, Ava and Davis. My daughter, Ava has type one diabetes. She was diagnosed when she was three years old. So we are now nine plus years into the diabetes game. So I am speaking to you today as a diabetes mom. In my professional world, I am a higher education administrator. I have worked in the world of higher ed for the last 25 years. And my professional job is facilitating accommodations for students, faculty, staff, and visitors individuals with disabilities. And so my real job is working with people in the world of accommodations. And so what I do is to help facilitate accommodations for individuals again at a major medical center and a major university on the east coast. So whether I'm working with Ava's accommodations or my son's accommodations, sort of in my personal world or in my professional world, I sort of feel like 24 7 have one big accommodation. And so actually this morning I got an email from my school Avis school, letting me know that it was time for Eva's annual review for her 5 0 4. And inviting me to her meeting. So this is very timely. Has I get ready to do that? Meeting myself? So look forward to talking with you today about 5 0 4 plans. And I should also say that my professional background is that I'm also a lawyer I'm not practicing right now. So my background educationally is. In addition to working in higher education, having a master's degree in higher education administration, I'm also an attorney. So I bring that sort of to the field focusing on education law, focusing also on disability law. So that's my educational background.

Katie:

Okay. I'm just curious, before we dive in to, you know, kind of the 5 0 4 in general. They're calling you at the end of the school year to invite you to Ava's annual review of the 5 0 4 plan. Is that typical? Because normally you'd think that or are they just getting prepared for next school year?

Leigh:

They're getting prepared for next school year. And we also yeah, they're, they're preparing for next school year is what they're doing.

Katie:

Okay. Well, they're on the ball. I feel like I'm going to have to be the one that's in the email. Probably, you know, a couple of weeks before the school year starts in the summer to be like, maybe we should talk about this.

Leigh:

Yeah. and I will also do that too. You know, so I think that they will be getting prepared for me to do that. I think that definitely I will be doing that sort of stalking them out probably at the beginning of July saying, hello, can we meet as. Sort of all of the boxes and all of the items and all of the things that I will be dropping off at the school. But they said that this was her annual review and then it was also a re-evaluation for her. So I was invited to bring any sort of medical documentation that I may have, so I could put into her file which sort of made me chuckle as I was reading that email because that. Well, I can bring it, but the diabetes is the diabetes is the diabetes and it's the same diabetes that she has had since she was three years old. So I can certainly bring you something, but the diabetes itself is the same diabetes that she had when she was diagnosed in 2013. Thank you for asking

Katie:

Yeah.

Leigh:

We were asking counselor, I will see you at 1 45 on the date that you have asked me to attend.

Katie:

right. Thanks for the invitation. I like how they send an invite, like at some sort of party or something like that.

Leigh:

Yes. Yes.

Katie:

And I, I have one more question. You, you, you know, you're, you're involved in administration for higher education, so that makes you know, you're, you're at a university. Higher education is, is, is that college level or is that graduate level? It makes me think you've graduated.

Leigh:

Yeah, it's definitely college level. Yeah. In my job, what we do is we work with college students, graduate students and professional students, and then we also work with employees as well. So I think that, you know, one thing to know about section 5 0 4, it's just sort of for a base level. So we all have the same language. Section 5 0 4 comes from section 5 0 4 of the rehabilitation act of 1970. And that was really the first disability law out there. And so I think that one of the things, whenever I'm talking with individuals, whether that's at work or sort of in my professional world one of the myths that I would like to dispel is that, you know, the word disability is not a bad word and we really should not be afraid to use that. And so I think that, you know, when I encounter families out in the diabetes online community, And whenever I look at some of the social media pages, I think that they're sort of Th that word disability sometimes can sort of insight a lot of different feelings with people. And I know that people don't want to sort of use the word disability as a crutch and, you know, we don't want our children to be able to sort of use diabetes as an excuse to get out of things. But what I would love your listeners to understand is that, you know, that using the word diabetes. And understanding that diabetes is a disability under these laws is something that is a protected civil right. And so when we think about section 5 0 4, and we think about that being the very first disability law that was found back in 1973 that's really the basis really where we go out and we think about these accommodations. So section 504 comes from section 5 0 4 of the rehab act of 1973. And when you're thinking about seeking accommodations for our children in the K through 12 world, which is where we'll start a section five of. The definition sort of, of disability. Whenever we think about that is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. And so for our kids, their major life activity is the function of their endocrine system. That is limited. That's what happens with diabetes. This is not something that they asked for. None of us asked for this as their parents and. So it's not a crutch that we are giving them an excuse to do something. It's something that they have. It's something that they have to deal with. And so we are relying on these laws to be able to protect them. And we are utilizing the, the, the accommodations that we can get under section 5 0 4 of the rehab act and the protections of the ADA in order to protect our kids from discrimination. So anyway, that's sort of the basis, that's where we start with the definition of disability and with understanding that. section 5 0 4 comes from an actual wall and actually the very beginning of the, the disability laws. And so then the ADA was founded after section 5 0 4. So when we go into our schools and when we have these meetings and when we talk about our section 5 0 4 plans, it's actually a law. That's out there and that's where that comes from. So the ADA was built after section 5 0 4. And so really that's sort of the historical legal background of how we get these 5 0 4 plans and why we have these meetings. It's actually a law that's out there and that's why schools have to follow them.

Katie:

Yeah, absolutely. An ADA is a Americans with disabilities act. Correct?

Leigh:

Yes exactly. And it was founded in 1990 and then ended in 2008. And so those are the, those are sort of the big disability laws that are out there. Section 5 0 4 and the ADA and the ADA amendments. And so those are really the things. Whenever we think about what are the protections for our kids at school, those are the ones that we're thinking about the children that are in the K through 12 world have other protections like the ID EA. And I think. One of the things that we probably should talk about is the difference between a 5 0 4 plan and an IEP. Because I know that there's a lot of times that people will ask, well, you know, can my child with diabetes have an IEP plan? And is the IEP plan better than a 5 0 4 plan? And so in terms of implementation from a legal perspective, one plan is not better than the other plan. One plan is not stronger than the other plan. A child with just diabetes alone cannot qualify for an IEP. So if you are a parent and you're trying to go out and you're trying to seek coverage and seek accommodations for your child, And you want to go into your school and you're going to go talk to your guidance counselor, or talk to someone at the school. And you're going to ask for accommodations. And the child only has diabetes. That is the only health condition that they have. They will not qualify for an IEP in order to have an IEP. And in order to seek accommodations under an IEP. You have to fall into one of 13 categories. And so there are specific health categories that are required for you to be able to qualify for an IEP. So I told you at the beginning that I have twins, they're 12, Ava has diabetes. She has a 5 0 4 plan because the diabetes falls under the conditions that qualify for 5 0 4 coverage. My son has autism. has an IEP. And so autism falls into one of those 13 categories. So Davis has an IEP plan. He has accommodations that come from the IEP. Ava has a 5 0 4 plans. She has accommodations that come out of her 5 0 4 plan. One plan is not stronger than the other plans. It's not that they get different things. It's not that his is more powerful than hers. It's just, they're two different plans that come from two different two different areas because his condition is different than her condition. So I think that parents need to understand. That depending upon what the health condition is, if they do not fall into one of those 13 categories, there may not be an ability for them to be able to get the IEP instead of the 5 0 4 plan. And that's pretty important.

Katie:

Okay. I'm curious to know, cause I, I didn't really I didn't know the answer to that question, so thank you. I'm learning a lot. so let's say Ava had type one and also had autism. Would he now have a 5 0 4 and an IEP or would you kind of choose between the two?

Leigh:

She could have both.

Katie:

Okay.

Leigh:

She could have both.

Katie:

Okay. And is an IEP. Again, I'm just curious, you know, I know the 5 0 4 is a living document. You can revisit at any time it can be changed. It can be updated it's once you've written it and signed it. It's not set in stone necessarily. Is that the same with the IEP?

Leigh:

Yes.

Katie:

Okay.

Leigh:

Yeah, And they have annual review meetings. So yeah, they're definitely, it's, it's the same thing. So Davis has meetings, just like a house.

Katie:

Okay. So we've, you've kind of described what the 5 0 4 plan is, you know, it's meant to protect our children with disabilities. And I do love what you said about, you know, disabilities, not being a bad word. That was something that I had to kind of get over when Sarah was diagnosed because I unfortunately. And I don't really know why, but I do feel like that word does carry a little bit of a negative connotation with it. You know, if someone is disabled you know, and I, I hate that. But but you know, I've kind of learned to change my perspective on it and, and think of it just like you said, it's not, it's a good thing because it means that she's protected and she has. And, and, you know, it's, it's meant to level the playing field for her, especially in like the setting. And then of course, when she's older in the workforce as well, but I, you know, I posted once on social media about that word disability, and I just kind of was like, what are you guys like? I'm just curious to know. People think about type one, being classified as a disability. And I was surprised to find out that a lot of people didn't even know that it was considered a disability. A lot of people were not happy about the fact that it was considered a disability cause they didn't want that word attached to their child, which I also think is had. But you know, and then again, a lot of people kind of came back with I'm not going to treat my child any different, you know, because they have type one. I don't want them to think that they're not able to participate. You know, in anything that someone without type one couldn't do. And again, it's, you know, there's just that education piece is missing of, it's classified as this because there's laws to protect them. Not because, you know, people are judging them or, something along those lines, but I'm glad you brought that up. So.

Leigh:

you know, one of the things that we always talk about at friends for life you know, whenever we, we have the conferences and one of the things that I talk about in the, in the presentations that I do when I'm talking with families is. whenever we think about the word disability. And whenever we think about using that in terms of diabetes, you know, when, when I hear parents that talk about sort of not wanting to use that word disability, they're not wanting their child to be able to hide behind the word disability as like a shield. You know, they don't want them to take a shield of, of disability and sort of hide behind it and crouch behind. And what I'm telling you to do is to take that word disability, like a soldier. And go out into the world because there's going to be times when you may face possible discrimination, and you're going to need that word disability as your sword to be able to go out and fight. So you're not shielding yourself. You are fighting with that disability word. You know, so whether that's a standardized test and you need to be able to have access to your food and water, whether that's a standardized test and you need to be able to have access to your medical devices. whether that is some sort of rest breaks that you need to be able to go to the bathroom, whether that's an accommodation that you need in the workplace, that's when you need your sword. I'm not telling you to get behind the shield and to hide. What I'm telling you to do is to be prepared, to fight and to use those civil rights. That you have because of the diabetes. So again, think about it like that whenever you go out. But yeah, it's definitely very divisive out there in the, in the big world. Whenever you use that word disability.

Katie:

for sure. And apparently some people from other countries chimed in and type one is not classified as a disability in other countries, which I found interesting. I couldn't tell you what those countries are, but there there's a few people that mentioned that. Okay. So let's just kind of briefly go. Typically in a 5 0 4 plan. I can certainly chime in with some certain, you know, some things we haven't Sarah's, but what do paper people typically add into a five? Oh.

Leigh:

So usually what are in typical 5 0 4 plans? They normally talk about the people who are training. To be able to deal with the diabetes at the school. And so that could be a nurse. If your school is lucky enough to have a nurse maybe you have a nurse on site that works at your school, or maybe you have a nurse that wrote. It's through your school that may come back. Every so often I know one of the schools that we attended there was a nurse that was on site four days a week, but she was off on Wednesdays. And I remember when I found that out, I thought, well, what happens on Wednesdays? Because diabetes is still happening on Wednesdays. So tell me, what are we going to do on Wednesday? And so you know, of course there is a backup person and a backup to the backup person that happens on Wednesdays is normally a 5 0 4 plan. We'll talk about who are the people that are trained to be able to handle the diabetes. Where will the equipment be kept? You know, where we'll, you know, where will supplies be kept sort of in, in the world of the school. And what about the student's level of care? So will the student be able to perform tasks related to the diabetes? Will the school need to perform levels of tasks related to the diabetes? And what level of supervision will the school provide versus what level of of care will the student be able to provide? And again, like we talked about, this is a fluid document. So what Eva had in kindergarten is going to look very different than what Eva has next year for seventh grade. And then they'll normally be a section on food. normally something like snacks and meals and lunches. there's normally a section on exercise, physical activity. Sometimes there's a section on a water bathroom breaks. And sometimes that's not spelled out by itself that might just be in a section sort of on general accommodations. There's usually a section on checking blood sugar and administering insulin and how that happens and treating highs and low blood sugar. And so there's normally sort of like the routine task of diabetes management, a section of that, like where is the blood sugar checked? Do you keep a log of that? Will the nurse, or will the front desk people along with that? How do you treat the blood sugar? Do you, you know, are you on shots or are you on a pump? How will that be treated and then how will you deal with a high or low is normally there's a section on that. There should be a section on field trips and extracurricular activities, which is hot button, hot button item, hot, item right there. And then a section on sort of general accommodations. There should be a section on that communication with the family. And I would love it if there would be a section on emergency. With regard to like if there was an emergency situation at the school, what will happen? And then a whole lot of signatures

Katie:

Yes. I actually added in an emergency section into Sarah's. Just because her school, you know, back before the pandemic, when I could go in and, and help out and volunteer frequently, they had a lot of drills. every time I was there, there was some sort of drill. There was a weather drill, you know, there was a code red drill or you know, active shooter drill, which just breaks my heart, that they even have to have those fire drills. There's always a drill. And so I was like, if they have to leave the building for whatever reason I wanted in the 5 0 4, that like she has to have her stuff her. You know, to treat a low or to treat a high or to contact me if, if need be. So that was written in, and then I've heard some, I hadn't thought of this and I, I might need to do that for you know, in the future, but I've had some parents comment that They've, I don't know if they've really written it into the 5 0 4, but they've definitely had the conversation with the teachers, like during an active shooter drill, you know, we have, they have alarms, like diabetics have alarms that go off and, and so maybe teachers being willing to help children's silence their alarms during those times. those are things to think about. I. fire drills at my kid's school always seem to be during lunchtime like right before lunch and, and Sarah eats lunch. So early at 10 o'clock and I started getting nervous that she was gonna take her insulin for lunch, and then are there were, there was going to be a fire drill and she was going to be outside in the heat with all this insulin on board and no food. So I, I made it a point to like, she has to have her stuff with her during a drill.

Leigh:

And I think, you know, what sort of crazy diabetes mommy for me, because the drills kept on happening. And the, my concern about lockdowns kept on happening. I started buying glucose meters. Like I was hoarding them, like just buying them. even like meters that we don't even use. Like, I would just buy them, like when they would go on sale, like I would go into CVS or I would go into Walgreens and I would see, like, there was a meter that had like a, like a sample, like number of strips. $14. And I was like, well, I'll just buy the CVS brand meter and it's got 10 strips in it. And I'll just put a battery in there because I'm going to make another lockdown kit because there's another classroom that they might take them to. And if she ends up in that classroom and she needs to check her blood sugar, I need to have a kid in there. And so I felt like in the end I was going to end up having these emergency lockdown kits with these random meters in every single room of every single classroom in the scenario of school building which is sort of insane. You know, and then like none of them work, they don't even know how to use them. Which, you know, we use the Dexcom. We don't even finger prick on the regular at all. So I think that I have to get control over that this summer and figure out what I'm going to. I need to get myself back in line to figure out how I'm going to handle that. But I think that that whole section on emergency planning is a section that probably people weren't thinking of a long time ago, that because of the society that we're in today, you know, that's a difficult part of the 5 0 4 plan to try to be able to sort of wrap your head around. You know, one of the calls that I get a lot through CWD is the part about monitoring, you know, with the school? Certainly newly diagnosed families and the battle that they're facing with the school with regard to schools that are reluctant to follow. The child on Dexcom or on night scout or on whatever it is. You know, and so they'll want sort of advice on, well, can I buy an iPad and give it to the school and make this part of the 5 0 4 plan? Can I do this? Can I, well, they have iPads at the school. Can we not just install a Nightscout on there? Or can we not just force them to download Dexcom follow on the nurse's personal cell phone? You know, can we make that part of our 5 0 4 plan? And I think that. Part of this is very difficult. You know, from sort of a legal perspective in terms of how much the school is willing to do and how much they're not willing to do. And so the best advice that I could give to you when you're trying to get them to do things that feel outside of the box is to go at it from a place of kindness. Especially when it's things that they're not familiar with. You know, we were talking about looping before, know, this is a concept that is not familiar to nurses and it's not familiar to school systems. And when we go into our schools and we let them know we've built something from instructions on the internet, and we would like you to learn how to use this here that can make them feel really uneasy. Especially when you have school systems that want to follow it directly about the book. You know, and when they have these protocols that were written 20

Katie:

Yeah.

Leigh:

and they don't want to deviate from that at all. you know, I certainly, you know, we've done loop, we've done. Yes. We've done all of the, you know, the build at yourself systems. And we've been very lucky in terms of the way that we've been able to, to get the school, to come on board with what we've done. But it's not always been easy. And I certainly know that there are many families out there in the, in the world that have not been lucky that have not had that kind of success. You know, and what you have to know is that when in doubt they have your child and they can also prick the finger, when the technology won't work, your kid is there and your kid's finger is there. You know, so when the technology fails, when the phone will not connect to the wifi, when the system goes down, your kid is still there. Their finger is still there. A meter is still there. There is still a way to be able to figure out what the blood sugar is, and you can still get a hold of the person who has been trained. And so I think that even though that is. And it feels like it's not the way that you want the whole system to be planned. Sometimes it has to go back to that, you know, even for a short period of time until, you know, sort of technology issues can be worked out.

Katie:

Yes, you bring up some good points. Well, first, just to go back, what you were talking about with the, you kind of have swung in the extreme direction of having maybe too many kids positioned around the school. I feel like I have swung in the opposite direction of having not enough kids in the school. Because Sarah. Is currently really the only one that carries her supplies on her. There's no nurse at her school. Listeners probably know this by now, cause I've said it a million times, but it's really just me and her managing diabetes throughout the day. Now I have the support of her teachers. I have all of their cell phone numbers. They're great at responding to me and you know, helping me when they can. But by the time. Went back to school. She was able to, I mean, she's on a pump now, but at the time when she was on injections, she could do that herself. She could do a finger prick every now and then she needed some help, but the ladies in the front office were willing to help her with finger pricks. But we, like, we were in a situation a couple of weeks ago where Sarah's on the DIY loop system now, so I can monitor her remotely through Nightscout and How did I figure it out? I saw that she gave herself, oh, here, here's what I was like doing something for work. And I was 30 minutes away from her school and I saw that she had given herself insulin. Like I checked in on her. I, you know, I told her how much insulin to do for lunch check. So all that, she did it in Nightscout and went about my day. Well, then when I got in my car, when I was done doing my work thing and I got in my car, I looked behind me and I saw Sarah's lunchbox laying on the ground of floor of the car. And at this point in time, it's almost an hour and a half, maybe longer after lunch. And I was like, oh my gosh, what, what did she eat? Because that morning I had told my kids, like, mommy's got some work stuff to do today. I need you to make sure we have everything before we get in the car. I'm I, I'm not gonna be able to run and bring you something today. So, you know, do you have your lunchboxes? Yes. Do you have your shoes? Do you have your diabetes back? Yes. So I thought she had it all. And then when I saw her lunch box, so of course I've texted her and her teachers. What did Sarah eat for lunch? Because she gave herself insulin. And anyway, it just kind of made me think, like, I need to be, I need to be a little bit more prepared, like, cause she, she did it cause I keep her juice boxes in her lunch box and I keep her Skittles in her lunchbox. And I mean, everything was in that one little bag. So she had no way of treating lows. Now her teachers do have like bags of Skittles that they can pull out if need be. So, I mean, and obviously, She didn't even text me to tell me she, that she didn't have her lunch. Cause she just figured mommy's working. And she said she wasn't gonna be, I was like, I'm a bad mom. I've put the fear of God in them, which isn't, maybe isn't a bad thing. But she figured it out. It turns out she did not eat enough carbs to cover. The insulin that I told her to do for lunch. You know, so around the two hour mark, I'm like, Ooh, you're going to need to eat something else. And I didn't really want her to have to eat 20 carbs worth of Skittles. So that just kinda made me think I really need to have a box in the office. I need to have a box with her teachers. I need to have a box with the PE teacher, you know, that has extra snacks, load treats, an extra meter, an extra glucagon. There needs to be more than one. I need, I need to get all of my eggs out of one basket and

Leigh:

right.

Katie:

out a little bit. So, you know, it's the end of the school year, we've got four weeks left. I'm kind of just like, I'll do that next year, but I have it on my list of, things to do. I need to be better prepared. Another thing I wanted to ask you that you brought up is and this is whore. I'm probably people are probably going to walk through the door and arrest me right now, but Didn't tell anybody that we were switching over to DIY loop. Again, it's the end of the school year. You know, she's, it's still, she still wears the same pump. She still holds on an Omnipod. She's just using her phone now. And there's an app that, so I, I guess I just didn't see a huge need to tell anybody cause it's her and I doing it anyway. But actually just before we got on and I was telling you that I was putting out diabetes fires I actually had to text her teacher and say, I need you to help her with this app. Like she entered the carbs, but it didn't give her insulin. So now I need to get her to go back and do insulin. So I like texted her through it and it was fine and we figured it out. But what responsibility do parents have? Because obviously schools have a lot of responsibility to make sure people are trained and know how to help your child. But what responsibility do parents have in updating the schools when things change? I mean, I'm assuming it should be all the time and I'll, it will definitely be in her 5 0 4 plan next year. But.

Leigh:

right. Yeah. I think that, you know, it, it goes both ways. I think that, you know, It's a partnership, you know, the 5 0 4 plan is a living document. If you have an IEP plan, that's a living document. And what you want to do is to have this as a friendly partnership between yourself and the school. Now there have been times in my life. When I have said that you know, I go into these meetings and I have said, you know, if somebody is not crying at the end of this, then you're not doing it. Right. You know, but that's when I've not been in a good place with all of this. You know, you want to make this as, as a positive partnership. You know, and in order for them to be able to, not kill your child while they're at school, you know, we have to give them all of the information that they need. You know, the reason why I needed to tell the school about loop was because it was constantly needing help. You know, we were constantly getting a red, red circle. It was always needing adult assistance. You know, because for me, I wanted Ava to spend more time just being a student, you know, and not having to get out her phone, you know, when she was looping up, she, this is way before they had the Omni loop. So she was using the Metro. And it was constantly becoming disconnected. Like we were having to constantly get out the phone and, you know, turn the loop back off, turn it back on again and trying to see if we could get it to reconnect. And so there was always some adult human that was having to sort of interface with the phone and make sure that she's got the phone with her and make sure everything is staying close with her. Because it required so much sort of adult interaction. I had to tell them. And so that was why we updated them. They were you know, it was a charter school, a stem school that sort of focused on, you know, engineering and like fun stuff. So like the DIY part of it seemed really cool. And they didn't have a problem with it. But like when I came, I mean, seriously, like the trunk of my car is completely full of all of the things, you know, like stackable boxes, like chargers, like these are the chargers for the phone. These are the chargers for, you know, all of the pieces that I have for open APS and, you know, for, I mean, for the rally. Like, this is for the Riley length. This is for the phone. This is for the, the pump. This is for all of the different things. You know, these are, these are battery charges, Benton batteries. These are all of the things that you could possibly need. And I mean, even like what I would like ship in like Amazon cases. To the school. You know, so then that way, like, it is an entire production of Ava, you know, just, just dealing with the diabetes with her. But Yeah, so I think that, you know, I would just update it next year. You're too close to the end of the year, you know, and especially where it's just, you just kind of managing it on your own. And it sounds like you've got a great relationship, you know, with the teacher right now. So I think that, you know, why ruin a good thing at this point and like pump itself as is still the pond. It's not like you've changed anything. And the, the, the system that you have right now is working. So I would keep that like it is and truly, you know, when I go back and when I think about the calls that I get in the emails that I get, when parents have an SOS, you know, help me with this. The school's not doing enough. You know, you go back to the farmer for plan and you look and you think, you know, what is the school doing? The school has a duty to communicate with you. And you have to go back and you have to figure out what are they do, you know, when will they communicate with you put in the 5 0 4 plan when you want them to communicate with you about highs and lows when you want them to communicate with you about the student, not feeling well, you know, related to highs or lows when you want them to communicate with you about other diabetes related issues. And then how you want to address those diabetes related issues. You know, Ava wears a she wears the T slim. She wears steel infusion sets. The nurse was saying to me, I need you to bring me an extra site here to the school because we don't have one. And so I had not brought one because she can't change the site on her own. And I thought, well, I can bring you one. That's fine. I don't mind to bring you one, but even if you have one there, she's not going to be able to check. You know, so when I, if there is a site related issue, I will come to you and I will bring it with me. But I did take one to the school just because I guess she just needed to have one. I think one of the things that in terms of advice about the 5 0 4 plan and sort of coupling with whatever the doctor's office gives you. What I have learned sort of within this last year is that school districts that sort of read the letter of the documentation to the law of the documentation. Sometimes. And I think they're very well-meaning and I certainly appreciate that. I, I find myself this year sort of, because we're so far into this I have gotten somewhat frustrated with them sticking to the exact words of the documentation from the endocrinologist. You know, so if it says that, you know, the, the school will call the family, if the child is over 300 for more than two hours and exactly two hours and one second, The school calling me you know, and if we have somehow miscalculated a breakfast dose, or if she's getting ready to have her period, or if it's just diabetes thing, diabetes, or we didn't change the site soon enough, I mean, who knows why you could be over 300 for two hours, they're calling me. And so then I'm like, it's fine. I promise you. It's fine. She's going to come down. It's no big deal. Thank you so much for calling me. I really appreciate it. And so then it's sort of like, who can I go and strangle at this point? Like I want, I thank you so much for calling me. I appreciate it. And so it sort of makes you feel like, you know, please don't think I'm a bad diabetes, mom, I want to fix this. And then you sort of like do should our text, Ava, just do a rage bolus and get it to come down at this point, you know? So they'll stop calling me. But, you know, you, you certainly appreciate the school for wanting to follow the letter of the documentation from the provider. I don't want to go back to the provider to say sometimes she's over 300 for an unknown reason because she has diabetes period. You know, if it's diabetes, we don't know why sometimes this happens. You know, we're humans. We can't, we're not a pancreas as much as we want to be. We're not. And so I think that, you know, all of us as diabetes parents just have to, you know, we're probably more flexible than what a document is. That's on file at our schools offices. And so I think it's very difficult, you know, sort of trying to manage these 5 0 4 plans, manage the people at the school that are managing the 5 0 4 plans and sort of living in the world that we have to live in. And so I think that, you know, just trying to handle it with grace when we get the calls and helping the school work their way through it is a challenge. But I just try to think that I'm just glad that, that we have the plan in place. One of the questions I get a lot is should I do a 5 0 4 plan question, mark? The answer is yes. Every single time. The answer is yes, 100%. You need to do. You should do it as soon as your child is diagnosed. Do not wait to do it. You need to do it. Because this is why you need to do it. This is future Lee telling you why you need to do it. You need to have a history of receiving accommodations. So when your child grows up and they want to go to college what we're gonna do is we're going to look back to see, did you have a history of receiving accommodations whenever they were. It's not the fact like we talked about at the very beginning of this Ava's diabetes has not changed since she was three. The diabetes is the same, but what we're going to want to do is look back to see, did she have a history of receiving accommodations along the way? Yes, she did. You know, she did receive accommodations. And so you know, some of the accommodations that she has now certainly revolves around the standardized testing you know, permission for her to be able to. Have her water with her go to the bathroom when she needs to be able to go to the bathroom, have her phone you know, which is how she has her Dexcom. for her to be able to test in a different area because of the fact that she beeps you know, so she does not disturb other people when they're testing. Those are things that are going to be important for her later in life. And so I made sure that she had those in place whenever she was in third grade. And she started those first round of standardized testing. So it was important for me to set her up for success in the future, by having a history of those. So then that way in the future, whenever she gets ready to start doing things like the sat or the act that we would be able to show that she's been receiving those accommodations all along.

Katie:

I see. Okay. So you, you were talking about more of the stage where kids are preparing to go to college where they're doing these big major act sat testing. Because the 5 0 4 does not extend into the college. Correct.

Leigh:

Well, there is a FA yeah, you can, you will show it sort of the, you can bring it in, but the colleges will do something different on their own.

Katie:

Okay.

Leigh:

they'll, do something totally separate. Once they go to college, but you can certainly take it with you. Whenever you meet with the college disability office, you can bring it just like you'll bring an updated letter from your doctor. Yeah. But you can bring it just a copy of it to be able to show that that you received it. And I would just say you don't, you don't want to bring the one that you had from kindergarten. Do you all just like bring the last one that you had whenever you were in high school?

Katie:

Right. Okay. Yeah, you don't need to wheel in the middle. Files that you've had for the past 18 years. Yeah. Okay. What about now I'm assuming that's independent of the college, like that, that would be specific to the college. What kind of accommodations they would offer once you get to that level? Okay. Let's go to the opposite side of that spectrum. And talk a little bit about preschools because you know, as you've already said, 5 0 4 is K through 12. but, but there's still these preschoolers and this might not be your area of expertise and that's fine, but you know, I, so many parents, they have their kid in a preschool and then their kid gets diagnosed and all of a sudden the preschool isn't willing to accommodate them, help them. And I mean, I get it. I don't think it's right, but I, I understand cause it's intimidating and these kids are little and you know, insulin is scary. Sometimes at the beginning, it's scary at the beginning. But what kind of, you know, what kind of protection, what a kid of that age have, if any, do you know.

Leigh:

So when she went, Ava was diagnosed, she was in a pre. And you know. I was working full time. My husband was working full time you know, when you're a parent and you're a double parent family that's working, what I thought, you know, we're gonna, we're gonna lose our house. We're gonna, I mean, entire lives have been destroyed by this diagnosis. You know, what will they do? This was a private preschool and you know, will they accommodate her? What's gonna have. And so the question is, do they have to provide accommodations? What you want to look for is, do they

Katie:

Okay, we're recording again. Tech issues are fun. We got, we got cut out, so, okay. We'll kind of start where we left off. I was asking we about preschoolers and, you know, you were telling me the story of when Ava was diagnosed and she was in preschool at the time. So maybe start with, start with that.

Leigh:

Right. So she was in preschool, it was a private preschool that. was run. They had a board of directors. And so I remember sending a message over to the director of the preschool and saying, what are we going to do? And that director of the preschool said, well, I need to meet with the board to determine whether they will allow her to come back. You know, I remember thinking, first of all, I'm crushed by this diagnosis. And second of all, what do you mean? Whether they will allow her to come back? You know, because you don't have a backup it's what do you mean? And then the other part of me was thinking, well, if she does come back, will you kill her? You know, can I go to work? You know, w what will happen? You know, she's three years old. Can I even trust you to keep her, you know, when she's on insulin the tiniest dot of insulin that I need you to give her to keep her alive. So the, to answer your question, what you have to do is chase the federal funding. So is the preschool affiliated in any way with federal funding? Because if they are. They are required to implement accommodations like a 5 0 4 plan. So does the school have free or reduced breakfast or lunch? Do they have grants that they receive do they have like school choice vouchers that they allow you to use? Can you look in the handbook that you have for your, for your school to try to see you know, is there anything else. It says that, that like there's a grant, like from the U S da that comes in. So what you want to look for, is there any sort of federal funding that comes in, this would be true for preschools and also for religious schools,

Katie:

Okay. Or private, just private schools in general.

Leigh:

Private school, religious school and preschools. So the same thing you're looking for federal funding. So if there is federal funding, they are required to be able to implement accommodate. And that that's what you're looking for. If not, what you can look for would be like local anti-discrimination laws. So you could look for that. You could look for maybe a preschool like ours that was run by a board of directors that might have sort of like a handbook or might have sort of like a rule book that says we will not discriminate against individuals that are enrolled in our school. And then you hang on your source. That I gave you at the beginning of this to be able to say that my child is protected as an individual with a disability. You told me when we enrolled here that you do not discriminate against individuals, you cannot discriminate against my individual child now. And I think that you just sort of in the end again, coming at it from a place of mutual, kind of. That, you know, you want to try to, to try to come at this where we want them to accommodate. You would want them to take care of your baby while they're there. But in the end, if you get the feeling that they won't, it may not be the place where you want to put your child.

Katie:

Yeah.

Leigh:

Is that the safest place for your child to be you know, can you handle leaving your child? And so I think that, you know, like I, we experienced a situation with the drop-in childcare facility, you know, one of those places that was like, by the hour, you know, where like, they, they advertise like a, like a, drop-in like, you know, parents drop your kids off here for like a parent's night out. You can go do whatever you want to do. And, you know, for three hours you pay whatever it is and leave them here. We're going to feed them pizza and let them watch a movie or whatever. And so. The second that I took them in, you know, they loved it. And I was like, here's her diabetes bag? Her phone is in here. And I, you know, there should not be a problem. I'll call you if, if there's a problem, they were like, wait, you said diabetes, she can't stay.

Katie:

Wow.

Leigh:

And sort of, after some communication with the owners of the group, I was like, that's fine. She's not gonna. And, you know, so I think that there will be times when feels right. And then there will be times when it does not feel right.

Katie:

Yeah. I mean, Sarah wasn't in preschool when she got diagnosed, but it was a charter school, like I said, they didn't have a nurse. Nobody. Well that's act, there was actually a child at the school with diabetes, but they were older cause it's a, it's a K through 12 charter school. So they, the child with it was very, very, very independent. So I, I got some pushback. I quickly realized that that's not legal. So I presented them with all of these, you know, 5 0 4 situation and the ADA laws and all of that. And they quickly realized that, oh, we are required to. Accommodate and have somebody be trained, even if it's not a nurse necessarily to come in or, you know, to come in. And it, we don't have to hire a nurse, but we do have to have somebody come in and train our staff so they can take care of them. Yeah. I, in Florida, I don't think it's in every state, but in Florida where I live, they have VPK for preschoolers, which is like, It's like a pre-kindergarten and the state pays for that, you know, that's a federally funded or, or the, you know, the it's it's federally funded. And or it might be state funded actually, but either way. But I'm wondering if that, cause I know of a kid at our, the preschool my kids went to, I know there's one there with type one and they are in VPK. So then they're in that program. So I'm guessing is why they had to accommodate maybe.

Leigh:

Yeah. for sure. You know, and I think that, you know, hot topics in the world of diabetes in schools, field trips, you know, I think that that's, that's an area where you, you worry about the accommodations field trips after school programs, before school programs where you hear pushbacks from the school preschool programs, like you just mentioned where schools may say we, we're not going to do that. But if the federal funding is there, if it is sponsored by the school, have an obligation to be able to do that England. So you may have to push harder. And again, you know, we start out from this place of kindness. We start out from a place of wanting to do this in cooperation. But in the end you may have to get your sword out and go, you know, fighting for what your child needs.

Katie:

Right now I will say, let's talk a little bit about field trips and sports. Briefly I, Sarah. So she was diagnosed in 2020, the day before third grade. So, you know, weirdest school year ever with the whole pandemic situation. So she has not had any field trips since diagnosis, so that hasn't really been an issue while they're going on a really big field. The last week of school to Kennedy space center, which is about two hours away from us. So I am going on that one just because haven't been on a field trip in a long time. I'm available. Sarah asked if I would go, so I'm fine going on it. But I do want parents to know that. You do not have to go on field trips with your children right there. that is a very reasonable thing to put in the 5 0 4 plan that your child will be with a staff member, an adult who is trained and can help them if needed. And of course, hopefully there'll be able to, or willing to communicate with the parent as well throughout the day. But. You know, I personally didn't feel comfortable sending her two hours away for the first time on a field trip without me. So I was happy to go, but I know that there's parents that just don't have that flexibility. You know, they, both parents are working full time. They can't take the time off whatever it may be, and they don't want their kid to miss out on the field trip. So, so there's that, but you know, in the future, as she gets older, I definitely, you know, I, I don't want to have to go on every single field trip that she goes on to the rest of her school career. So but that's, that's correct. Right? Like, I mean,

Leigh:

Yeah. you do not have to go. And like, my kids do not want me to go. So sort of the combination between the diabetes and the autism. I have gone on a lot of field trips. You know, just because I think they need me to go. But I think that, you know, and then kind of it happened and then all the field trips stopped and became virtual field trips in boxes on computer screens. But you know, when our. Start back. I think if I suggested that I was going to go, my kids would probably like take my car keys away from me to where I could not go. But yeah, I think that it's important to put in the, in the plan that you want the school to provide, you know, a trained person to go on the field trip. Then if it works out that you're able to go or then if they really get strapped and they need additional chaperones to go, you can go, but maybe you're not even taking care of your own. You know, maybe you're going and you're taking care of another group of kids. And your kid is in a different group. But for me, you know, chaperoning a field trip is nothing but just a gigantic stress situation

Katie:

Yeah.

Leigh:

S all kinds of stress. But you know, I think that certainly, you know, when they're younger and when they're newly diagnosed and when, you know, when there's a lot of walking, that's involved and when you're sort of out of your familiar environment, sometimes it's good to go on one. You know, if you're able to Especially when you're not able to sort of predict the environment that they're going to be in. I think that sometimes that's really helpful.

Katie:

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I, I don't, I don't know that I, I tried to talk her into, Hey, daddy really wants to go to Kennedy space center. don't we not go on this field trip? And then we can all go together as a family and we'll probably get to do more and stay longer. And at first she's like, okay. And then of course, all of her friends are going and now she she's like, no, I want to go. So I'm like, all right, fine. We'll I'll go with. no big deal. But okay. Okay. Good to know. Okay. So sports as well, like let's say the kids a little older they're in a that does have federal funding. So they've got to abide by the 5 0 4. And they want to try out for the basketball team or whatever sports team it may be. Is it also reasonable to expect that the coach of that team be trained to help them if need be.

Leigh:

I think it is. Yeah, I think it has. And I think that one more note about sports. We had a situation not related to school sports, but related to a community recreation league to where Ava played softball. And one of the umpires told her that she needed to take off her pump. You know, because it was attached to her waistband and that she had to take it off. Okay. You know, it was very, very upsetting. She was, you know, holding her bat in her hand, he was telling her she can take her jewelry off and she needed to take that thing off at her waist. Holding up the entire game, she got very, very upset. All of the parents, you know, are kind of like, go on, you know, you need the bat, let's get this game going. It's blazing hot North Carolina sun is beating. And of course I was ready to like the diabetes. Mama bear is ready to go, like clobber I'm climbing the fence, ready to go, like do the biggest diabetes education that I possibly can do.

Katie:

Right there on him at home plate.

Leigh:

Right there at home plate. But I think that that's one of those things, you know, to where I would've never thought that like who in the world would have ever thought that we needed to educate the umpire on an insulin pump. You know, the coaches were very aware of it. The kids are very aware of it. Like I'm there with every kind of juice box, every kind of low supply that I could possibly need. Never once thinking that an umpire is going to say, take your insulin pump off. So I think that you know, not only do the coaches need to understand and be prepared to be able to deal with it, especially if they have away games but sort of additionally making, making sure that you don't run into that problem, you know, with an umpire, with a referee, with whatever, whatever they may encounter as they're playing the sport that they're playing.

Katie:

Right, right, right, right. gosh. Yeah. That must've been stressful for her and embarrassing too. Cause it's like, you don't want to, you don't want to stop the whole

Leigh:

right.

Katie:

hold things up. Okay. Let me give you a hypothetical situation. Let's say your kid chugging along. They're in the middle of the school year. Or. You know, two-thirds of the way through or whatever, and they get diagnosed. Is it let's say this is a school that's pretty unfamiliar with type one. The school I'm assuming, cannot say you cannot come back until you have a 5 0 4 in place. Is that correct? Or like w how would that play out?

Leigh:

Yeah, you, they cannot stop you. They can't stop you. You can, you know what they will want you to do. You know, I think that there's two different things. There's, you know, some states have something that's just a diabetes care plan or a diabetes health plan. And then there's the 5 0 4 plan. Those could be accompanying documents that can go along together with each other. They may say your student can not come back to school until we have a diabetes health plan in place. And that would be like a safety related issue. so I think that that might be something that they might try to say for safety purposes. We need to have this plan in place. But with regards to the 5 0 4 plan that would not be necessary. You know, the 5 0 4 plan is the legal document that talks about the types of accommodations that they need. And sort of the overall sort of legally binding document about sort of legal protections that they have, that diabetes health plan or the diabetes. Plan really talks about sort of safety related issues in terms of like the, the insulin administration, where the insulin is kept. You know, how to, w you know, when, if we have to get glucagon, this is where we keep the glucagon. That's sort of a different document. And again, almost like a. Sort of for students that have like food allergies or other health related issues and that's sort of a different document. So they may say that you have to have that on file before the student's allowed to be able to come back to school.

Katie:

Yeah. And I mean, that makes, that obviously makes sense. I mean, we don't, we want our kids to be safe. know, and many of us would have to resume normal life as quickly as possible. Because again, if both parents are working, you know, it's, it's tricky, but course we want people to be safe. So. You know, kind of the bare bones of like, this is what needs to happen in an emergency

Leigh:

Yes.

Katie:

are for, you know, crafting our 5 0 4 plan. But, okay. Yeah. I mean, I've heard of people. I, I, in fact, our neighbor down the street that was diagnosed not too long ago and she was back in school like the day after she got home from the hospital. So it's, it's very possible to return. Very quickly after, after diagnosis. If, if you feel comfortable with that and you know, there's a safety plan in place, so, Okay. So I know we're kind of coming to the end here and we're going to wrap up soon, but I just, with your experience, CWD children's children with diabetes, we'll reach out to you. If there is, if a parent contacts them and is having an issue with the 5 0 4, is that correct? And you'll kind of.

Leigh:

That will, there's a there's a section on the website where parents can write in on the children with diabetes website, where they can ask questions. And so if there are questions that come in about accommodations or 5 0 4 plans, sometimes they'll route those to me. And so I'll help answer some of those questions that will come in. And then and our friends for life conferences, we do sessions on accommodations that's in the K through 12 world. And then college accommodations and I helped present those sessions at our conferences. We have one that's coming up in Orlando in July. And then another regional conference coming up in October in college park, Maryland. And so, but otherwise happy to be able to help your listeners as well. To answer emails, they're, they're more than welcome to be able to email me. You can put my email if you want to out there. Do they can contact me as well and happy to be able to, to answer email questions that make.

Katie:

Okay, well, thank you so much. You're a brave lady for letting me put your email in the uh, in the show notes. You know, I w I I'll say that with a disclaimer of, you know, please be kind to li don't don't you know, email her at all hours of the night or whatever, but well, it's nice to know. you're there to help. You know, the other lady that I have interviewed as well for the 5 0 4. So that said the same thing, you know, it was kind of her passion and it was because she had run into so many issues with the 5 0 4 plan and her type one diabetic and the school that she kind of became this like mama bear. When it, when it comes to helping other families navigate the whole 5 0 4 in school accommodation process. So is there anything else that. Chat about that you feel like would be helpful for listeners to know concerning the 5 0 4.

Leigh:

I think that we've, we've pretty much covered it. I think, like I said, remember, it's not a shield, use it as a sword. You know, one of the things that I do is that I take snacks when I go in for my 5 0 4. I will take a little treat in for them. Because I think that they're not expecting that. So whether that's like a cookie or whether that's, you know, depending on what time of day the meeting is, I'll take some little snack in for them. And you know, cause I think that sends the message that I'm I come in peace. You know, whenever I come in for the meeting, I've taken breakfast burritos in the mornings before when it's been a breakfast when it's been a morning meeting and I think. I appreciate the fact that the school is there providing education for my kids so I can work during the day. They need to do their job of, of working at a school. I need to do my job of working at my job. Do her job of going to school. So we all want to stay in our own lanes. I want diabetes to sort of go behind the scenes and just sort of be quiet. And so in order for all of us to kind of do our own jobs, we need this 5 0 4. plan to work for all of us. So I think that, you know, by keeping in mind it does live and breathe, that we can change it as we need to change it. And by being flexible and trying our best, not to freak out that's the best advice that I could give you. Do I freak out? absolutely I freak out. And I have cried. I have screamed, I have gotten mad. But I think that really by getting there with breakfast burritos and cookies that would be my best advice for you as you go forward with. That, that you really start off, start off with the burritos and cookies and end with the tiers. If you have to and feel free to reach out if I can be of help in any way.

Katie:

I absolutely love it. I have actually never gone in, in person for a 5 0 4 meeting yet. I'm really hoping to do that next year and I'm going to really push for it because there's some things I want to physically show them. Just because you know, COVID, everybody likes to use the COVID excuse now, but I love that I'm re I'm gonna bring coffee. I'm gonna bring, yeah, I'm gonna bring food. Cause anyway, that's how, that's the way you get to people's hearts is through their stomach. So. And that's such great advice coming from a Southern Southern lady like yourself, just feed them and everything will be fine. And it's usually true. Yeah. Well, Lee, thank you so much. Thanks. Thank you for your time for your wisdom. Lots of wonderful naked nuggets shared today. I'm sure our listeners are really appreciative of everything you shared. So thank you again for coming on.

Leigh:

You are welcome. Thanks for having me back.

Katie:

You're welcome. Bye. That's it for our episode today, I will be leaving a lot of information in the show notes. So definitely go check those out. Lee's email will be there a link to the ADA website where you can find a really great 5 0 4 plan template. maybe if you or your school have no idea where to start. There will also be links to the previous episode I've done on the 5 0 4, which is episode number 16, as well as that children with diabetes or CWD and they're friends for life conferences, episode, which is episode number 46. So you'll see a link to that. Lee was in that episode with me last year. Last I will put a link in the show notes to where you can buy a copy of the book. Think like a pancreas on Amazon. So you will be prepared for our upcoming summer series. Be sure to check it out until next week. Stay calm and bolus on.

Leigh Fickling Profile Photo

Leigh Fickling

Executive Director of the Disability Management System at Duke University and Health System by day…..Type 1 mom 24/7

Collector of orange and green wristbands, Leigh Fickling, MEd, MS, JD, is the Executive Director of the Disability Management System at Duke University and Health System. With over 20 years of higher education administration experience, Leigh is an expert in college and workplace accommodations for individuals with disabilities. As a former solo legal practitioner, Leigh’s law firm specialized in education law, disability law, and family law. Leigh is the mom to twins, Ava (green band) and Davis (orange band), and can most often be found in the FFL hallways shouting, “SLOW DOWN!” Leigh feels that FFL is the number one most important tool in her diabetes tool kit and can’t imagine trying to dia-beat-this without the strong support from her friends for life. FFL Conferences are the highlight of the year for the Fickling family and they can’t wait to welcome new and returning families into their circle of friends! #greenandorangeforlife