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February 20, 2005

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Question from Australia:

My child has had a very, very hard time over blood sugar testing for the last four years. As it is a non-negotiable matter, I don't waiver on this. I have been searching for some kind of t.v. episode or program where a child has to frequently test blood sugars and it is part of the story. In the United Kingdom, there is a children's show called Balamory, and one of the cast is a teenager in a wheelchair. She is treated as if she is just one of the crowd. It got me to thinking, why can't children's diabetes be incorporated into any of the show that children regularly watch, Sesame Street, Saddle Club, Malcolm in the Middle, soap operas, Bear in the Big Blue House, etc.? I do remember many, many years ago there was some requirement for people to be portrayed in shows in the same ethnic mix as the population. Why not for various chronic medical conditions and disabilities? I just feel that if my child could see other children undergoing the same thing as him, and it is all in a days work for them, perhaps his attitude might change. Or, are there already a series of videos that I know nothing about?

Answer:

There are several excellent books about kids with diabetes that are written for kids. We have a list online at Books and Videos for Children and Teens. As for t.v. programs, you would need to contact the producers about this.

JSH

[Editor’s comment: Some parents have indicated that, in the past, there have been characters with type 1 on some American soap operas. Wether or not the characters were shown testing or injecting is something we do not know. It is also not clear if these characters remain on the shows.

BH]