Growing Up With Diabetes: A Developmental Perspective
D-Mom, M.S. (Psychology)
It’s certainly true that, as parents, we are not given an instruction manual. With or without the presence of the Diabetes Dragon, it is often overwhelming, confusing, and frustrating to know how best to parent our children — especially when it comes to their social and emotional health. And then just when we think we have learned a few things that we can use, our children grow and change, and we are faced with a new set of puzzles to figure out!
If you have ever thought “I wish I knew then what I know now” when it comes to your kids, perhaps this guide to typical psycho-social development will help you deal with the current challenges, as well as prepare you for the ones to come.
We have drawn on the knowledge of experts in the fields of psychology, social work, and medicine to provide this overview to the challenges of diabetes care at three different developmental stages: Early Childhood, School-Age, and Adolescence. In each section we have included suggested strategies for dealing with those challenges, as well as a brief description of typical patterns of behaviour for that age group (independent of the diagnosis of a chronic illness), so that you may have an idea of the social/emotional/cognitive growth your child is experiencing at a given stage:
The above information was reviewed for content accuracy by clinical staff of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Diabetes Clinic.
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