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Faithful Reader Needs Some Advice

Looking for brilliant help from the vast resources and life experiences of the people who read this blog.  I received an email from the mother of a little girl with type 1 diabetes who is looking for ways to teach her daughter's classmates about diabetes.   

"Hi Kerri,

I've been a faithful reader of your website at Six Until Me from some months now. I just love your site.

I was wondering if you could tell me your personal experience with how you made your classmates in Elementary school aware of your diabetes, how did you go about doing that? My daughter KayLee(dxd at 26 months) is in Kindergarten this year, and we've been searching for a fun way to teach the kids in her class about her diabetes. I havent came up with much You guys are definitely superheroes.as of yet. Do you have any suggestions, or even something that you would NOT recommend?

Any help would be very much appreciated.

Thanks for your time.
   ~Bobbi"

How did you tell your classmates about your diabetes?  And if you are the parent of a diabetic child, do you have any tips on telling?  Any help you can offer up to Bobbi is greatly appreciated.

1EDIT:  If you have a chance to drop Bobbi an email, she can be reached at davisbj at umr dot edu.

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Comments

Brendon and I did a talk for his kindergarten class last year.

We brought in a vial of insulin, his pump supplies, and a picture book of the human body so that we could show them the pancreas and where it's located.

The kids were enthralled.

We just basically told them that diabetes is when the body can't make insulin (showed them the vial) and that Brendon needs help getting it into his body (showed them the pump) and told them simply what happens when we eat food and how it affects blood sugar.

The kids loved every minute of it.

My daughter was diagnosed at nine months old and is not in school yet, but there is some great advice on dealing with it here:

http://forums.childrenwithdiabetes.com/forumdisplay.php?s=3020b0116cea9324bbdca0a09d299f44&f=3.

You may have to search a bit, but there is a wealth of info here.

You might contact the guys at Captain Glucose and Meter Boy to ask if they can help out. Their focus is on diabetes awareness with a humorous spin, and as pseduo-superheroes, they might be a great way to address this with children. Brad Slaight
(a.k.a. Meter Boy) commented on my blog post featuring them, and they are working on producing a TV commercial and video on the topic of diabetes.

Their website is at:

http://captainglucoseandmeterboy.com/

I was diagnosed the summer before 3rd grade, so when diabetes was explained to my class, they were slightly older kids with a better understanding. Plus, I was the envy of everyone because I got to eat snacks during class!

I don't remember anything specific about the explanation of diabetes. I think my teacher might have done it for me. However, just a couple of years ago I had a job at a children's library, and I know that young kids can learn a lot if you present a story to them. There are a TON of books for kids about diabetes at Amazon.com. I was surprised! Go see for yourself:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_n_4/104-3897627-7751918?ie=UTF8&keywords=diabetes&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Adiabetes%2Ci%3Astripbooks%2Cn%3A1000%2Cn%3A4

When my son was diagnosed, we got together with the school nurse and his teacher and did a little presentation for his classmates. We read them a book called "Frances Learns About Diabetes", by Alyssa Coombs, that is written right on a child's level and is not hard at all for them to understand.
It will surprise you how sweet and understanding kids can be, and the more they know about diabetes the better - just in case.
My son had a low blood suger on the playground, and a boy in his class knew just what to do to help him. I'm glad we had our presentation, and we will continue to do so at the start of each school year.
Good luck Bobbi, and I hope your daugter has a wonderful kindergarden experience!
Lea

When I was diagnosed, the teacher gathered all of the students together (while I was in the hospital) and explained to my classmates what diabetes was, how it was treated, and what signs and symptoms to watch for. I went to a small school and my teacher used my diagnosis as a teaching experience - I was lucky. The hospital also gave books to be added to the class library to help other children learn.

I remember Sandra wrote about this exact thing. maybe she can write her an email.

Kerri--
I was diagnosed in 9th grade so it was different for me. I have found an awesome book called "Lara Takes Charge" by Rocky Lang and Sarah Russ. http://www.hlpibooks.com/Order.html

This is abook written about a little girl with diabetes. It's very kid friendly. Just a suggestion!

Where does bobby live because I work for a Diabetes Association and that is one of the benefits we offer. We go into schools and do different skits and prsentations on diabetes to class rooms

I bought my d-in-law the book, Diabetes Goes to School. She read that to the class and changed some of the information to reflect how many shots Kylee was getting daily. She is now on the pump.

Kylee also wanted to demonstrate how she gets her finger pokes for her BS readings and she even demonstrated how she got a shot! Needless to say the kids were so impressed and just think she's a hero!

Kim also sent an informative letter home to each of the parents. A copy of the letter is on the CWD website.

Kylee has been really candid about her diabetes with all her classmates and teachers. I think that has helped alot. She tells everyone how her pancreas is broke and how she takes insulin to help it work now.

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