i did not take the SAT today.


I have type 1 diabetes. I'm not shy about telling people that when asked what 'that iPod thing' is that just happens to be attached to my hip constantly. Having only been diagnosed a year and a half ago, it frustrates me when people assume I need special treatment/food/etc. just because I'm diabetic.

I was supposed to take the SAT today. And, as you know if you've ever taken the test before, there's an option when signing up for special accommodations for those who have disabilities. I do not consider diabetes to be a disability and diabetes/having an insulin pump was not on the list of disabilities given by the SAT Collegeboard website. And so I checked the 'no' box on that question. I was ready to go. I was a little worried however, because I do know someone who had their pump confiscated during the test because it alarmed, and there was a kid in the same room as my brother who was kicked out for the same reason. An alarming pump that was mistaken as a cellphone. He was kicked out for cheating.

Let me get one thing clear, SAT test administrators: there is no way that I could program my pump to do anything that could be considered cheating. It's specialized to deliver insulin and really can't do much other than that.

I was not allowed to sit my SAT this morning.

To be on the safe side, and not take any chances with having my pump taken away, I informed the test proctor in my room that I had an insulin pump and while it was an electric device, I would only be using it if necessary during the break. He said that he wasn't sure that that was allowed and I was sent to talk to the test administrators.

The SAT Collegeboard website does not say that using special accommodations is mandatory. Diabetes is not listed as something that requires those accommodations. However, when I talked to Sarah the administrator, I was informed that I was not allowed to test regularly while wearing an insulin pump. Her best suggestion was for me to go home and reschedule my test for another day.

I did that. I called my dad, nearly in tears, and had him come and get me. We went and picked up coffee on the way home, and then stopped for Krispy Kreme. While at coffee, we (literally) ran into my pastor, Brad. Brad's oldest daughter is diabetic. We told him our story of being kicked out of the SAT before it even began. He said that the same thing had happened to his daughter. He said that it pisses him off (his exact words, no joke, my pastor swore) when people treat diabetics differently.

The hoops I have to jump through to do things are ridiculous. Driving requires medical clearance, and standardized testing requires special treatment.

And that's what bothers me.

Treating us differently. Do you know what the special accommodations are? They knock off part of the test, extend the time, and give you breaks whenever you want them. It sounds pretty nice, doesn't it? But to me, it's just a reminder of the fact that I'm different. As someone who was diagnosed at a later age, I don't want to be treated differently (and I'm sure that those who were diagnosed at an early age feel the same way). If I get a good score on the SAT, I want it to be because I sat the whole thing and did my best. I don't want it to be because I got special treatment because of this disease. I want to earn it. I don't want extended time and I don't want less work.

I want to sit my freaking SAT without being sequestered away in a room on my own because I'm different. That is all.


  1. oh my this really touched me!! That's just insane....my 14 year old brother has been a type 1 diabetic since he was 6 years old. He wears a pump as well and looks at these things the same way you do. This gives me a little insight into what it will start getting like for him as he gets older, although I really hope things change, and soon! People just don't understand diabetes. The pump is as much a part of you as your other organs! You couldn't live without it.


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