Some children do not want anyone outside the family to know that they have diabetes. However, it may be helpful for your child to tell their close friends what to do, especially if a hypo occurs when they are at school.
Your child will need the help of their peers and may need a guiding hand to deal with classmates and friends.
Some children may be happy to ‘show and tell’ about having diabetes.
If your child has had diabetes from an early age they may have told everyone – a lot depends on their personality. Other children may be more private in which case your advice as to how to go about telling their friends may be helpful. Together you can practise what to say.
Your child might like to do a school project on diabetes to tell their classmates how it is to have diabetes – for example, they could show how they use their meter. This may increase confidence through teaching their friends.
School events may motivate your child to help in self-care – for example, learning to correctly treat hypos so that they may attend sports events or school excursions.
Your child may be keen to sleep-over at a friend or relative’s house which may provide a gentle push to take on responsibility for some diabetes related tasks – seize every opportunity you can.
Having a small group of your child’s close friends see how the equipment is used, and directing simple, age appropriate discussion can help the more sensitive child.
Education days or support groups may be organised by your local diabetes centre to help you and your child meet other children with diabetes and their parents.
Camps are invaluable to help you and your child feel less isolated. In some states there are parent/child weekend camps which provide an introduction to the concept of the camping experience. Your child may then graduate to other camps throughout their childhood right up to adolescence.
Contact Diabetes NSW or Diabetes Australia in other states for information about camps and day activities.
For more information on diabetes at school please go to the Teachers and Schools page