Parents want children with diabetes treated the same - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Parents want children with diabetes treated the same

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Diabetes rates in children are sky rocketing, with experts predicting a 23% increase by 2050 in type one diabetes.

Those increasing numbers are affecting daycare centers and schools.

When Jared Kuper was diagnosed with diabetes at 8-years-old, his mom sat day after day, all day, at his school so that she could monitor his blood sugar levels herself.

"It's a minute to minute disease," says Laura Kuper. "So the wind could blow and their blood sugar changes. It's a constant worry."

Three years later, she counts on the school nurse for help.

Diabetes care is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"Schools have to comply and it means they're required to provide services for children with disabilities and if a daycare receives federal funding, they have to comply with those same rules," says Linda Siminerio with the American Diabetes Association.

"When we have a student that has diabetes, we have to meet with the families and the staff, and talk about accommodations for school, what we need to do to make you know the student is safe," says Debby Morris, a school nurse.

But a growing number of parents complain they are facing discrimination.

"Some daycare's don't accept kids with diabetes," says Kuper.

Experts say there is a lot of confusion about who is responsible for what.

"Families still face some challenges in getting some resistance at the daycare and school level," says Siminerio.

Facing challenges like who will monitor insulin levels? Who will give the shots?

That's not spelled out in the federal law.

State law isn't always clear, either.

The ADA says some parents end up sitting at school all day.

"There's parents that work and shouldn't have to worry and don't have that luxury," says Kuper.

So what can parents do?

There are currently complaints filed with the justice department over care for children with diabetes.

Attorneys say unfair treatment is taking place everywhere from daycare centers to summer camps.

The American Diabetes Association believes it's stressful enough having a child with this disease, fighting the system only escalates that stress.

"What we need to do is be able to think of ways to be able to support services to help those children have access to things that children who don't have diabetes have access to in the school setting and the daycare," says Siminerio.

Kuper has worked out of a system with her school so that the school nurse monitors Jared's condition.

She, and other parents like her, say they just want their children to have access to the same opportunities other children have.

"They shouldn't be denied, um, you know, being taken care of just because they have a disease," says Kuper.

EVSC officials say diabetic students who need insulin go to the nurse's office.

They say depending on the age of the student, either the nurse or the student will give the injection.

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