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September 24, 2003

Behavior

Question from Wharton, New Jersey, USA:

Over the last six months, my 12 year old son, who has had type 1 diabetes for about five years, has become very rebellious with his diabetes and very hostile to everyone around him. He is usually very happy and always has a smile on his face, but he has not been that happy at all. We thought with his diabetes and stating puberty that his hormones were just going wild, but I am not so sure. He is not following his diet properly, and he will not take care of his diabetes and supplies like he is supposed to. He went to diabetes camp two years in a row but would not go at all this year. Any suggestions as to what I should do?

Answer:

It sounds to me like puberty is rearing its head and your son is hitting the normal rebellious stage of diabetes management. Now is the time to enlist the help of a skilled counselor familiar with diabetes and chronic disease management. Do not wait! At 14 it is much, much more difficult. A teen hates to be different from his or her peers and diabetes makes one different! Check around your area for a really skilled counselor.

CMB