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From Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA:

My eight year old son has had type 1 diabetes for two years, and since school started this year, his new teacher has decided to use recess as a time for slower students to complete their work. My son hasn't been out to recess all week, and this is usually a time when he gets a nice aerobic workout. Does he have a right to recess because planned activity allows us to better control his diabetes?


It appears that you have several options:

  1. Recess is an important activity for all children, whether they have diabetes or not. It promotes socialization and gives the students a time to expend excess energy stored while sitting in a classroom Children this age have an attention span of about 30-45 minutes, so adding this "extra time" may accomplish little and might actually be a deterrent for helping students catch up or get ahead. You might want to discuss these issues with parents of other children in the same situation, and approach the teacher as a group.
  2. I'm not sure if your son is missing recess because the teacher has the entire class stay in or because he is a "slower student". If the whole class is missing recess, perhaps you could convince the teacher to allow the other students out to recess. If you son is a "slower student", I would request two things. The first would be an evaluation as to why he is slow in his work, and the second is to see if the teacher can have these students complete the work at home or find another time to do it.
  3. If you think that this will be a perpetual problem, you can adjust your son's treatment plan accordingly.
  4. You can have your son's diabetes team incorporate the need for recess into his healthcare plan. See The Law, Schools, and Your Child with Diabetes.


Original posting 12 Sep 2001
Posted to School and Daycare


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:26
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