Dealing With Your Child’s Diagnosis
A diagnosis of type 1 diabetes can be a lot to take in. Especially if it’s for your young child. There’s a lot to learn and a lot of emotions to sort out. We’re here to support you, your family, and your child through this difficult time and what can be a challenging, yet rewarding childhood and life with type 1 diabetes.
It’s natural to feel this way
If you are finding dealing with your child’s diagnosis to be overwhelming, please know that it’s a normal reaction. If you are feeling shock, disbelief, sadness, anger, and even guilt, it doesn’t make you a bad parent—it makes you human. And even though it may feel like it’s a lot to handle, it can be done and may get easier over time with the right tools and information.
It’s not your fault
There is nothing you could have done to prevent your child from getting type 1 diabetes. There is no way to prevent type 1 diabetes. It is not because you have done something wrong, such as allowing them to eat too many sweets. People you may meet who are not well-informed about diabetes sometimes say insensitive and uninformed things, even though they are trying to be helpful. Working with your diabetes care team and knowing the facts can help protect you from hurtful misinformation and give you the confidence you need to manage your child’s diabetes. To learn more about how type 1 diabetes works, click here.
Diabetes is manageable
Treatments are available that can help your child manage his or her diabetes and lead a normal life. It may take some work to get started and figure out how to balance your child’s meals with insulin injections and physical activities, but just like anything else, the more you do it, the more routine it becomes. And the more positive and matter-of-fact you are about it, the more likely it is that your child will take it all in stride. Remember, one way your child learns is by watching what you do and how you react.
Support is available
Your child’s diabetes care team is there to help, and resources are available to help you and your child manage his or her diabetes during the childhood years and beyond. Since you will be putting together your child’s diabetes care team, part of what you will want to do is make sure that your child’s care team is complete and then add to it as needed. For example, your child may need a dietitian for help in making and sticking to a meal plan. Or, perhaps he or she may need a mental health counselor if adjusting to new routines is causing a lot of difficulty. For more about diabetes care teams, click here.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
You need support just as much as your child does. Speaking to friends or family can make things easier. It may also help to talk to other parents who have a child with diabetes and understand how you are feeling. Patient support groups and online forums can help you to make contact with other parents. Ask your child’s health care professional about local support groups. For more information on finding support groups, click here.