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July 26, 2002

Behavior

Question from Green Cove Springs, Florida, USA:

My six year old daughter, just diagnosed last week with type 1 diabetes, was terrified of needles before she went to the hospital, but now she seems to be eager to get the glucose test and shot. Of course she knows that the shot is going to keep her from being ill and feeling bad. Are there any behavioral signs to look for? Is this common behavior for a six year old? I am confused and worried.

Answer:

It sounds as if your daughter’s doing great! You should all be very proud. Many children cope with the diagnosis and the daily diabetes demands quite well. Sometimes, the “novelty” wears off and children begin to express feelings of sadness, anger and frustration. These are quite normal. If your daughter feels this way, the most important thing to do is listen to her, let her know her feelings are normal and expected, and talk about things you all can do to help – as a family team.

You may be interested in reading the book: The Ten Keys to Helping Your Child Grow Up With Diabetes by Tim Wysocki, Ph.D. It has wonderful advice for families about helping children cope with and adapt to life with diabetes.

JWB