From Michigan, USA:
I am a principal and I have a student in my school who has a mother with diabetes. The mother has lost her leg due to the disease and has other organ deterioration. The student does not understand why this happens to her mother. Is there a good source for children to read to help them cope with a parent who has diabetes?
I applaud this principal for having this much insight into his students and their challenges. Although I am unaware of a book on that subject, I wonder if the child would like to write to us here and ask some specific questions (I bet the child worries that she might lose her mother or she herself might develop diabetes and start to lose some body parts). Perhaps she could be referred to a local diabetes educator to see about a local support group or just some counseling to deal with these issues. My heart goes out to the folks involved in this situation.
Additional comments from Betty Brackenridge, diabetes dietitian:This is a tough one, and I don't know of any such resource, except a good educator/counselor who can deal with the child personally.
Additional Comments from Lynn Wilson, diabetes nurse specialist:This is the "million dollar question": why do bad things happen to good people? The age of your student would certainly be a factor in my answer, but a diabetes educator who has experience with children would be able to sit down and talk with this child and explain diabetes and its complications. The discussion should be age/developmentally appropriate and done with the idea that follow up is important either with a school counselor or social worker or perhaps a member of the mother's diabetes team. It would be ideal to include the rest of the family in this discussion if possible.
This is definitely one for the team approach. Perhaps your school nurse (I hope you have one!) or your school counselor could be the link between the medical world and the school world. I hope this helps you help this student.
Original posting 12 Dec 1998
Additional comments added 24 Dec 1998
Posted to Social Issues: Community Resources
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:02
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