How to Talk to Your Classroom About Type 1 Diabetes


Whether kicking off a new school year or returning to school after a new diagnosis, one of the best ways to ensure your child is safe and supported at school is to ensure the people around them understand type 1. Classmates and teachers may not be familiar with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and may be confused by your child’s routine.  Some parents like to educate the class about T1D in coordination with the teacher. Here are our tips on giving a presentation on type 1 diabetes for parents and T1D kids in preschool, kindergarten and elementary/primary school.

Presentation tips

  • Ask ahead of time if you can present to the school or class on type 1 diabetes.
  • Pick a date and time, place and format for the presentation. Decide whether the child with T1D will give the presentation, or if a parent or guardian will. Ask if they would like to help you present, if they would like to present themselves or if they would prefer to be part of the audience.
  • Discuss what topics to present with your child. (Your child may want to help choose specific topics to be discussed.)
  • Keep the presentation short—about 15-20 minutes, including a Q & A. Children are more likely to absorb information that is presented!
  • Provide only simple, basic facts to begin with. Offer more detailed information only if the children ask for it, and remember that more information is not necessarily better. The language and amount of info shared will slightly vary based on the age group you are presenting to.
  • Props are fun! Bring a diabetes “play” kit to demonstrate items used every day. It could include needle-less lancing devices, an empty insulin bottle, alcohol wipes, blood glucose (BG) meter, test strips, glucose tabs, or needle-less syringes or pump supplies, depending on what your child uses. These can be passed around during the presentation, or used to demonstrate on a doll or toy.
  • Prepare for the Q & A ahead of time to avoid any mishaps!

Topics to cover

  1. What type 1 diabetes is
  2. How you get type 1 diabetes
  3. How you care for type 1 diabetes

Questions to ask

  1. Does treatment (like injections and finger pricks) hurt?
  2. Is type 1 diabetes contagious?
  3. Can you die from it?
  4. Why do you have to test your blood?
  5. Will it ever go away?
  6. Do you know someone who has it?
  7. Can you eat sugar?
  8. When might you need sugar?

For more help, check out our Education Presentations—Beyond Type 1 will send you everything you need to teach others about type 1!

WRITTEN BY BT1 Editorial Team, POSTED 01/30/17, UPDATED 12/27/22

This piece was authored collaboratively by the Beyond Type 1 Editorial Team.