Diagnosed. What next?
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:
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.
The World Health Organisation recognises Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) as a disability. Many countries have recognised T1D as a disability in common law. Legal frameworks exist to protect children and adolescents with T1D to ensure the student has an equal opportunity to participate in all aspects of school life. (ref ISPAD PS 5.1)
Parents and health teams respect the work demands of teachers. The contribution made by school personnel to appropriately assist the student with T1D at school should be acknowledged and appreciated by all. (ISPAD PS 6.11) Caring for a student with T1D is best achieved through a cooperative, supportive and respectful relationship between the three key stakeholders – parent (and student when they are capable of greater independence in self-care), school personnel and medical team. (ISPAD PS 4.1)
Any child with Type 1 Diabetes requires unconditional support not just from their families, but principally from their schools and their medical practitioners.
The Type1 Foundation has supported the development of the T1D Learning Centre and E-Learning Online Training Modules. Providing credible, flexible, accessible, evidence-based education, learning and training protocols for school staff who support and take responsibility for a student with Type1 Diabetes. This benefits all Type1 school ages children, their families and the school staff. At school, many different scenarios can arise daily. It can be difficult to predict these, but its best the have a plan in place to ensure that your child is safe at all times. https://www.t1d.org.au/diabetes-at-school/scenarios
Remember, as a parent are the best advocate for your child. You know them the best and as a parent it is very normal to feel overwhelmed and misunderstood within the school environment. Please remember you are not alone and if you require more support in how to advocate for your child please get in touch with us, or for more information and testimonials go to: https://www.t1d.org.au/about-t1d/testimonials
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. https://www.t1d.org.au/ has some great videos for the extended family to view and be more educated on all aspects of Type1 Diabetes.
We also recommend parents familiarise themselves with the administration of Glugagon regularly. This video is an easy and simple example of how glucagon is injected and why: https://www.t1d.org.au/resources/videos
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 created 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. They realised there was no support for the “right her, right now” and are working hard to fill the gap and create a better future for all.
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.