Clearing up fears about having special needs

The Big Diabetes Lie

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Managing your child's diabetes requires many products, including the following:

^ He uses needles, syringes, and insulin (see Chapter 10).

^ He has a glucose meter and test strips to test his blood glucose (see Chapter 7).

^ He may have an insulin pump (see Chapter 11) to slowly administer insulin over 24 hours and a continuous glucose monitor to take glucose levels at five-minute intervals throughout the day.

He also needs a variety of people to help him, including:

^ A diabetes doctor for overall health

^ A dietitian to help choose the right foods

^ An eye doctor to check his vision regularly

^ A diabetes educator to teach him about diabetes

^ A psychologist or social worker to get him through the stressful occasions that accompany any chronic disease

^ A pharmacist for the right medication

^ Family and friends to give support all the time

Type 1 diabetes certainly puts strains on your child that a person without diabetes doesn't have, especially when it comes to planning meals, taking medications, and monitoring blood glucose. But as I point out in the earlier section "Knowing that your child is in good company," it also molds character. If your child can overcome the limitations of T1DM, he can overcome many other of the challenges that he'll face in his lifetime. Like Frank Sinatra said, if you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere.

┬┐jjjMJEft While it's true that your child with T1DM has a lot more special needs than the average person, he's a unique individual with a special role to play in the world. He may become an entertainer bringing joy to many people he'll never know, or he may be a writer teaching people about subjects they want to know more about. He may be an inventor, creating a product that improves the lives of many other people, or he may be a teacher, helping others to learn how they can thrive in the world. Sit down with your child and help him understand that his special needs are the foundation that makes it possible for him to make his contribution to the world. And remember that at one time or another, everyone has to draw on society to help them along. In a real way, everyone is interdependent.

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