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January 8, 2001

Behavior

Question from El Paso, Texas, USA:

My 14 year old grandson was diagnosed with diabetes a year ago. His diabetes is out of control. So is my grandson. He's a very angry person, and he needs help. Where can I go? What can I do?

Answer:

You don’t mention who your grandson lives with, what he is doing that is “out of control”, what kinds of support he has, or what kind of help you have already tried to give him. So, my advice might include things you have already tried.

The first thing I would do is talk with his diabetes team, and get a referral for a mental health counselor that works with teens with diabetes. If they do not know of anyone, go to the pediatrician to get referrals for counselors that specialize in teens with out of control behavior. Your grandson is a minor and does not get to choose whether or not he goes. However, if treatment has a chance of being successful, it will have to include his family. This will require a continued and serious commitment to family therapy with the goal of helping your grandson gain control of his behavior and his diabetes.

JWB