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March 8, 2000

Social Issues: Community Resources

Question from New York, USA:

I am interested in starting a support group for my daughter. She is 10 years old and there is none available locally until she reaches 14. Can you suggest how I might get started? (She was recently diagnosed several months ago).

Answer:

How wonderful that you want to form a children’s support group. This is such a important part of forming a diabetes team, both for the child and the parents. My first suggestion is to look for a diabetes educator in your area that would like to join you. If you do not know of one, you can call the American Association of Diabetes Educators at 1-800-TEAM UP 4. You can also contact your local American Diabetes Association or the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation to see if they would help you organize the group.

If you do not find any professional support, you can always start gathering kids and parents through an ad in the newspaper. Our local groups for kids meet at churches or schools so there is no charge for the space.

KS
Additional comments from Dr. Larry Deeb:
Talk to those running the older kids group. Learn what/where for them.
Ask the Diabetes Center/endocrinologists to mail a flyer from you to parents. This preserves confidentiality, but still gives the parents of the kids information about the group. Those who wish to attend will, and you will never know the others. I do this all the time for programs I support, but avoid breaking families’ confidentiality.

LD