chapter  8
Childhood Physical Health Issues in the School Context
ByPaul C. McCabe, Katelyn Rose
Pages 11

Lorrie, age 16, has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes since she was 7 years old. Lorrie has struggled to manage her health disorder while attempting to participate in activities typical for her same-age peers. She often finds herself too tired to participate in social activities and decides to stay home. As a result, Lorrie reports that she isn’t dating and socializing with friends as much as she would like, and she has attributed her depressed mood and irritability to this. Her concentration and attention span vary widely, and on some days she is too distracted or fatigued to study and complete school work. Lorrie has struggled to maintain good grades even though she believes she is “pretty smart.” She has developed vision problems secondary to her diabetes that also contribute to her fatigue and onset of headaches, despite corrective eyewear. Problems with excessive thirst and frequent bathroom trips for urination are noted in her teacher reports from previous school years. Lorrie manages her diabetes through regular blood sugar monitoring, at least 5-6 times a day, followed by insulin injections and medications as needed. She has found that maintaining consistent blood sugar and insulin levels has become much more challenging since the onset of puberty and menstruation. Lorrie is looking forward to living independently at university and developing an active social life, but has ongoing concerns about her ability to manage her diabetes on her own.