December 20, 2003
Question from Chalmette, Louisiana, USA:
My daughter seems to be mentally regressing. She is in first grade and an “A” student of a private school with advanced studies, but seems to need step-by-step instructions for basic tasks. For example, this past weekend we were camping and she was sitting too close to the fire and was getting quite warm. She told me that the fire was too hot, so I told her to move her chair back away from the fire. She looked at me as if I were speaking another language. I literally had to walk her through this simple task with step by step instructions starting with “stand up”. In the end, I had to move her chair back for her.
Things like this happen daily. After I tell her something, I make her verbally acknowledge what I want her to do. This has not worked either. She also is starting to show difficulty with daily routine tasks. This morning was another episode with getting dressed for school. It seems as if the daily routine from the entire year would assist her in knowing what is needed to “get ready” for school. I can’t believe that I still have to explain what she needs to get out of her locker in order to get dressed for school. She wears a uniform!
What is going on? I am at my edge and I don’t know what to do or how to correct this problem. She is seven and every other child I have come in contact with can care for themselves and/or are more advanced in their capabilities than she is. She is an only child, but at her age that should not be a factor. I don’t want to compare her with others, but these differences are so obvious. She requires more attention and care now than when she was an infant. Please point me in the right direction. I need help in dealing with her and getting her to care for herself. She needs help in accepting her disease and communicating her feelings. I know that this problem might sound weird, but I am really starting to mentally crack.
The inability to engage in basic tasks and a total regression is not at all typical for children with diabetes. Although when a child is having a hypoglycemic reaction, you can see them become slow and unresponsive, what you describe is a complete regression in all areas of self-care, not a time-limited change that is treated after glucose is given. I would not think this has anything to do with diabetes. Please discuss these symptoms with your physician immediately and have her evaluated.