When a child is diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes it affects the entire family unit in so many different ways. After being diagnosed where do you even begin, who can you talk to?
We at the Type 1 Foundation are endeavouring to ensure that we offer as much support from the outset of the diagnosis for both the child and their family.
Some of the key areas that become affected include:
- attending school
- playing sport
- playdates and sleepovers
- emotional strain on parents
- financial strain on families
Remember that all this is new and can be quite daunting. We understand. As parents, individuals and advocates affected by Type 1 Diabetes, we are here to help.
The best way to ensure your child can enjoy their time at school and also maximise their learning, is to build a strong relationship with the school principal, teachers and staff. It is important that the staff are clear on the procedure surrounding Type 1 Diabetes and are educated on how to assist your child when required. School camps and excursions can provide a challenge, however if all parties are clear on what is required, then your child can enjoy these activities like the other children in their class.
Any child with Type 1 Diabetes requires unconditional support not just from their families, but principally from their schools and their medical practitioners.
If your child wants to play sport then this should be encouraged. Physical exercise will help keep them fit and healthy. Sport is a fantastic social opportunity to being around other children their own age.
Just remember to discuss it with their medical practitioner beforehand, to ensure you have a strong strategy for management. Make sure you communicate all requirements to the coach, team manager, etc to ensure they understand your child's needs.
Playdates and sleepovers...
Playdates and sleepovers can make parents extremely anxious which is completely understandable, but with a good plan your child won't miss out.
This can be achieved by offering simple steps. Giving the hosting parent(s) basic advice on meal requirements, timings and hypos will help ease anxieties. Ensuring they have your contact details and understanding you are there if they need you. If your child is having a sleepover, then have a talk to your medical practitioner about an insulin plan for sleepovers.
What about Mum and Dad?
The Type 1 Foundation was started by two concerned parents who felt there was not enough information and support out there for families with a child that is diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
The foundation understand that as a parent dealing with the integration of Type 1 diabetes into yours and your families lives, it is often very stressful and difficult to cope with. You are not alone.
If you feel you need to talk to someone who can offer support in those tough times then we are here to support you, all you need to do is contact us.
How do you get financial help?
The truth is that Type 1 diabetes often places financial burden on families, however there is help available.
- Insulin Pump Subsidy - Australian Government subsidies of up to $6,400 are now available for insulin pumps for children aged under 18 years.
- Health Care Card - All families with a child under 16 years can apply for a Health Care Card. The card allows prescription items and some medical services to be purchased at lower prices.
- Carers' Allowance - Some families may qualify for a fortnightly Carers' Allowance payment, which is assessed by Centrelink on an individual basis.
- National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) - Registration to the Federal Government's NDSS allows diabetes supplies such as syringes, test strips and needles to be purchased at cheaper rates.
The Australian Government is now providing access to fully subsidised continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) products, through the NDSS, to children and young people aged under 21 years who meet specific criteria. Refer to ndss.com.au/cgm and talk to your healthcare professional.