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Does your child often play with other D kids?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by DavidN, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. DavidN

    DavidN Approved members

    Sep 7, 2012
    Excluding D-Camp, do you put an effort into your child hanging out with other D kids? Has it helped a lot with your child's D emotional well being? Just wondering. My son has had a bit of a D rough patch lately and I am thinking about putting more effort into hooking him up with other D kids in the area. We did D Camp and he didn't meet anyone he was really crazy about so I clearly won't force it. But there's other stuff I can try.
  2. Debdebdebby13

    Debdebdebby13 Approved members

    Dec 15, 2011
    No, pretty much never. We don't know any one else except the kids she meets at camp and the girl she got to be the closest with at camp, doesn't actually have D, she was at camp with her little brother, who does (our camp is for D kids and their siblings). She goes to a little private school so their are only 120 kids in the whole school and she is the only D one. We know no one at church or in sports, or in the neighborhood...you get it, we are on our own little D island.
  3. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    Nope. All the D kids at school tend to avoid one another. I suspect they just have their real friends and don't feel any kinship beyond passing each other at the nurses office. DD was dx'd at 4 and it's always been this way, so it's not a teen thing.
  4. mmgirls

    mmgirls Approved members

    Nov 28, 2008
    no not really< there is a boy t her school that is 1 grade ahead of her and I guess they talk but our two families deal with Diabetes in totally different ways. She loved it when there where the older kids still at her school that where more like us in how we deal with d now tat they are off to middle and high school she does try to talk to them when we go to D events.

    The JDRF D scene is almost dead here, just we are now getting to be more active witth the D rganization that she will go to camp with next month.

    While I am sure that it helps to meet people with D I would not say that for my dd it helps her be less emotional about when D gets in her way.
  5. danismom79

    danismom79 Approved members

    Apr 21, 2008
    Same with my kid. She's never had any interest in anything remotely diabetes-related/centered, so she's not the type to feel any kind of bond with other kids just because of that.
  6. Megnyc

    Megnyc Approved members

    Nov 8, 2012
    My parents made an effort and I just wasn't interested. There were 2 other kids with diabetes in my school (grades 5-12) and we had nothing in common. I also never had an interest in diabetes camp (or cancer camp...) so I went to the same sleepaway camp as I did before I got sick.

    Now, in college it is great to know the other D kids because you can text them things like, "Hey, Anyone near the engineering quad have a meter and strips?" and get a bunch of offers of help. But other than occasionally sharing supplies I am not very close to them.

    It is actually funny in a way because one of my sorority sisters has type 1 and everyone is shocked that we are not super close. While, we have borrowed strips/insulin from each other occasionally and talked while treating lows in the kitchen late at night we really don't ever hang out. It is nice to have someone who "get's it" at times but I don't think having friends with diabetes would even make my list of the top ten things that help my emotional well-being.
  7. Helenmomofsporty13yearold

    Helenmomofsporty13yearold Approved members

    Oct 5, 2008
    I think having mentors with Type 1 is more important at 10 than having a friend with D. DD kept in touch more with her counselors at age 11 than her peers. She was fortunate to have a good friend in her class in middle school with D. At 15, she hung around a lot with a CWD she met when she was 8. They did not need each other until then, even though the Mom's hoped they would hang out more when younger.

    We are very fortunate to have lots of events and programs to attend with other families and amazing mentors. She does not want to attend every event, but they are there when she needs them. If you can'f find one in your area, come on up to Canada. Here is Chris Jarvis' (former Olympic rower and the most awesome mentor any kid can have) website and his events. He went to one 10 year olds class to talk about Type 1 and the whole class wanted the child's autograph after the talk.:cwds:

    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
  8. MomofSweetOne

    MomofSweetOne Approved members

    Aug 28, 2011
    My daughter has had a couple of older T1s mentor her, and she greatly appreciates their friendship and likes to give back to those with a new diagnosis/younger, but when she's with her age group, she choses peers with similiar interests, not because they have D. Sometimes she tells me by the end of a diabetes event, she feels exhausted because of too many pumps, CGMs, etc. alarming all day.

    The non-D friends that take an interest in my daughter's D are the ones that mean a lot to her right now. Just this week one commented that at a weekend competition they'll be attending this summer, my daughter's meter ought to be able to be decked out in a cameo skin and be their 7th member (the 7th member is usually a "disabled" egg that has to be helped through each event). My daughter joked with her friend, "What? Diabetes is a disability and a pain to work with?" Her friend looked embarrassed until my daughter said, "You're ABSOLUTELY right!" It meant a lot to my daughter, though, that her friend is learning how much thought and effort we put into life to make it look effortless and smooth! She also really appreciated that her friend told her how cool it is that I'm involved, even if it is because of diabetes, that she didn't think her parents would be willing to do so. Friends like these make such a difference in positive acceptance.

    Edited to add: Right after diagnosis, she very much wanted a T1 friend. It was 3 months before we became acquainted with another family with a T1 child, and they talked often. These days when they do talk or email, D is a brief blip of conversations and then they move on to their interests.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  9. LoveMyHounds

    LoveMyHounds Approved members

    Jan 31, 2012
    My DD has no such need, but she likes to see successful T1s :).
    She just found Jason Poston on Instagram (OMG, check this guy out :D).
    and when I sent her American Ninja Warrior clip with Kyle Cochran, she was very happy to see him :). But T1 friends? She has no interest to make any.
    According to her, sharing the same condition is not enough ;).
  10. quiltinmom

    quiltinmom Approved members

    Jun 24, 2010
    I don't know of any other type 1 kids near us my son's age. He has tons of fun at camp (and remembers kids from past years) but outside of camp, he hasn't really seen anyone. And he's fine with that. He has a few other friends from school and church.

    The suggestion I wanted to make was that you see if it's possible/worthwhile to get his current friends involved a little bit. Like having them remind your son to test when he's at their house, etc. Not "in charge" of anything, of course, but just to help him do his D stuff when they are together. It would just have to be the right situation, though. My endo recommended offering rewards to his friends for helping out, like taking them all to a movie or ice cream or something. He said it might be a good way to make sure DS takes care of his diabetes while he's away from home. (I don't remember exactly how that conversation went.) Taking your son out to a movie because he has D might be just what he needs. lol

    My point is, maybe he can feel support from friends he already has, instead of trying to foster a new friendship just because of D. Or he might like having other D kids to hang around. See what he thinks.

    You have to also understand, he is a boy. Girls get their support socially (most of the time) by talking, and being BFF's. Boys socialize differently. They don't feel better because they sat and talked about diabetes for an hour. KWIM? They like to get out and do things, be active. Another thing to try is ask your DS what he thinks might lift his spirits.

    Just my thoughts. :)
  11. shannong

    shannong Approved members

    Sep 15, 2012
    No, my son never plays with other D kids. We went to the CWD conference in Toronto and I suggested to my son that he may make a friend there that also has Type 1. Funny enough, he makes a friend, but not one who is Type 1 (it was a sibling) and my son said to me, "Mom is it okay if my friend doesn't have Type 1?".

    Similar to what others have posted, my son's diabetes does not define him in anyway. He doesn't think of himself as any different than any other kid.

    I'm wondering if some good role models might help your son though. My son plays hockey and he enjoyed watching the playoffs, rooting for the players that we know have Type 1. We emailed a player that also sent an email back to him. He's into sports in general so I will often point out to him athletes who have Type 1. I do this mostly so he knows that Type 1 will never stop him from achieving the things he wants.
  12. DavidN

    DavidN Approved members

    Sep 7, 2012
    He has no interest in meeting kids just for D sake. He wants to play with his "normal" friends. Which is fine by me. A D dad I recently met said his son benefits greatly by playing with other D kids and they really encourage it. So I was just wondering what others thought. Now I know. Thanks. I'm sure my son will have ups and downs with D, its just been more of a down lately, but that too shall pass.
  13. 3kidlets

    3kidlets Approved members

    Aug 3, 2010
    We know a lot of adults and kids with T1. When Hana was first dx at 9, there was a girl a year ahead of her with t1 at school. They got together a few times but that petered out. I guess because D is such a small part of her life, it just wasn't necessary. She'd much rather be with her school friends, swim team friends, dance friends than with someone who she really has nothing in common with other than D.
  14. caspi

    caspi Approved members

    Oct 11, 2006
    My son has shown no interest - and there are 3 D kids in our neighborhood, if not more. His "social life" didn't change a bit after he was dx'd in 2nd grade. He still has the same friends since then and he's heading into 9th grade this September. We have a Type 1 group for kids in a neighboring town and he had no interest in joining that, so I didn't push it.
  15. Mimi

    Mimi Approved members

    Dec 19, 2008
    My girls hang out with each other, does that count? :p:cwds:

    But seriously:

    We've attended a few JDRF sponsored events with role models/mentors since Amanda was dx'd. Mostly because they were fun events. I enjoyed meeting the mentors and hearing about how d does/does not affect their lives probably more than she did. :rolleyes:

    Recently we attended an event because of the mentor involved (Chris Jarvis) and because I wanted Chloe (dx Dec 2012) to have the experience of community that is available to her.
  16. cm4kelly

    cm4kelly Approved members

    Apr 28, 2011
    Not really . . .

    My 6 year old plays with his "friends." They don't happen to have type 1 diabetes. Believe it or not, in his elementary school of 1000 kids he is the ONLY type 1. Statistically it seems impossible, but I am just sure it is only an amount of time before someone else is diagnosed.

    We do go to activities every once and a while for children with Type 1 in our area; while he has fun, there aren't any specific kids he would pick to have a long-term relationship with.

    I agree with some of the other posters that maybe older role models might be a better idea than having to push type 1 friends. My son sees his dad - a type 1 - so we have that covered.
  17. StacyMM

    StacyMM Approved members

    Oct 22, 2010
    They have each other but they never talk to one another about diabetes. Ever. Unless I ask both of them the same question at the same time and I can pretend it's a conversation when they both answer. Or if one needs to borrow a supply from the other or if they need something for a low, which they will both readily get for the other.

    DD has two kids in her class with T1D but they are both boys. She knows them and is friends with them in that generic elementary school way but they aren't best buds or anything. One used the same kidsitter as us for a few summers so she knows him fairly well. But he's a boy and therefore has cooties. ;)

    DS has no one in his grade with T1D. The next closest is one grade up and it's a girl. And girls are gross. :p They chat about diabetes when they run into each other in the nurse's office but that's about it.

    I really do think a D friend would be beneficial to DS. He has more of a sense of feeling different and I think the sameness would reassure him to some extent. DD, on the other hand, doesn't remember life without D and it is less of an issue for her. She is diabetic and they aren't and it doesn't matter. I just don't see a D friend as especially useful to her. It really depends on the kid. If you think yours would benefit, there is no harm in trying!
  18. nanhsot

    nanhsot Approved members

    Feb 20, 2010
    My son is older so clearly doesn't "play", but he has many many friends from D camp that he is in frequent text contact with. He drove a few hours to spend a weekend with one of the guys from camp recently. So for him having that support has been important.

    The combo of D camp and a short term counselor who has T1 is what helped my son the most when he went through a funk. For him I do believe knowing other T1s and having someone to contact when he needs to is helpful.

    I know you said with the exclusion of D camp...so my post isn't helpful in finding those friends, but I did want to share that for my son having those contacts/friends has been helpful so I think your idea has merit, if you can find other avenues for meetups it might be useful.
  19. KatieSue

    KatieSue Approved members

    Oct 5, 2010
    I had her go to a couple of JDRF events when she was first diagnosed. She really didn't find anyone she connected with and didn't want to go back. She does have another girl in her circle of friends who is also T1. They were all excited to talk about it, for about an hour. Now they really don't. They're not close friends just both in the same circle.

    When she was first diagnosed one of the guys from Polo who's T1 came to visit her in the hospital which was a massive help. He's older though and she does't play polo anymore so they don't really keep in touch much.

    Per the school nurse there are 22 at her school. She knows who quite a few of them are but she's not friends with any of them.

    I do have to say though that she loves trolling diabetic memes on facebook and tumblr. I guess that's her little connection.

    Each kid is different. It doesn't hurt to try and connect him up with some other kids and see if anything clicks. An older child as a mentor may be helpful as well.
  20. Lisa - Aidan's mom

    Lisa - Aidan's mom Approved members

    Dec 3, 2011
    The other child with D in my son's school is the same age/grade and they are in an after school math class together, go to a lot of the same parties, have many of the same friends, etc. yet I seriously doubt they talk about D at all. It's all about Legos, baseball, etc.

    DS goes to a non-D day camp w/ a nurse and he knows the other child w/ D, but again, it's about sports and playing; they certainly know each other has D, but I know they don't talk about it all.

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