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For those with kids that administer their own shots

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by lcblk27, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. lcblk27

    lcblk27 Approved members

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    How old was your child when they learned to administer their own insulin shots? Was there anything that helped them become more comfortable with doing the shots themselves?

    My type 1 is 9 years old and I am trying to encourage him to start administering his own shots (once I set the dose) but I refuse to push him too hard. His school district has said that he "should" be administering the shots himself by the time he gets to middle school which is 5th grade (he's currently in 3rd). Currently, he receives shots in his butt from the nurse while in school. He is scared to do the shots himself but I think once he gets the first couple shots down, he'll be fine. I'd appreciate any advice or experiences you would care to share.
     
  2. jenm999

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    My kid is not on shots but we have run into a few situations where the school thinks he "should" be doing something or other. He's 8 and in third grade too. I would defer to your endo, and their consulting psychologist if they have one, about what is developmentally appropriate. I think it's good to be working toward independence, but slowly and mindfully, especially with regard to potential burnout in the teen years. I raised my concerns with our endo (the school nurse wanted him to look at his dexcom once an hour and log the number in a chart; she also thinks he should be feeling his lows, which he does not) and our CDE very nicely called the nurse and told her in the kindest way possible to back the **** off and just carry out the orders.
     
  3. lcblk27

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    Yes, Jenm999, the school certainly does like to let me know what he "should" be doing and I'm not afraid to tell the school to hush but I would also like to help my son get over this hurdle, I think it would be great for his self confidence (not to mention the whole 'he's getting to big to go in the ladies rest room with mom to get shots' issue).
     
  4. Cheetah-cub

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    My daughter was diagnosed at age 10, and she was able to give herself shots right away. She was on shots for the first 3 months. I went to her school everyday at lunch time, but to help with dosing, and watch her give herself the shot in the office. I think it helps her feel more comfortable to have me there.

    My daughter is on pump now. Even though, she is totally capable of changing her pods, she has always wanted me to do it for her. I ask her gently every time if she would like to change her own pod, she always says no. I would do the pod change for her. Someday, in her own time, she will say yes, and will do her own pod change. (She had the pod failure only once at school this school year, and she did changed the pod at school herself.)

    Every child is different, I would not push the child if he/she is not ready.
     
  5. dshull

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    Every kid is different developmentally. Just like some babies walk at 9 months, and others at 18, it's all within a normal range. Our endo feels very strongly that kids should not be pushed to do D related tasks that they don't want to do. My son is 11, diagnosed at 7, and never gave his own shots. Just didn't want to and we didn't make him. I think long term it's always best to let them take on tasks as they're ready. 9 is young. I wouldn't push it.

    Also - do you really take him into the ladies room to get a shot? That could be a part of the problem; just a thought. We do all D related tasks out in the open - at restaurant tables, in parks, really wherever we are. We try to normalize it as much as possible and if other people have a problem with that, to me that's their problem and not mine.


     
  6. lcblk27

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    Thanks for your response. I never used to take my son to the bathroom to do shots, I would just do them wherever we were but then he started getting self-conscious about getting shots and requesting that we go to the bathroom to do them. I think he and I are going to have to put our heads together and come up with a better solution.
     
  7. nebby3

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    Do you use syringes or a pen? The latter is easier to administer and deal with and could get him over the hurdle. While I think a 9yo certainly could do their own shots, nobody should be pushing them at that age if they don't want to. I might start pushing like a 16yo but not a 9yo. I would think maybe a 9yo w D would just want to feel taken care of by the adults in their life by having them do the shots. That should be okay.
     
  8. lcblk27

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    That is such a great point, they should be able to just relax and feel cared for by the adults caring for them.

    We already use pens. He has been able to push the plunger in once the pen is in but not do the poke himself yet.
     
  9. Lakeman

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    My daughter was diagnosed in first grade and she was giving herself shots with a pen with plenty of supervision within a year. That is not to say that I did not give plenty of shots myself when she did not want to or when the shot would be in a place she could not do herself easily. I did not want her to feel pressured so basically anytime she wanted me to do some care I did it. I don't really know how much being afraid of needles is the most important thing - she is afraid of plenty of needles like when she has vaccinations or when she is trying a shot in a new place. She was not afraid of her pen when everything was the same. When she uses a syringe it is a little more challenging.

    I agree with others that a child will give themselves shots when they are ready and want to. Over the course of their life they will give thousands and thousands of shots so does it really matter if a parent gives a few hundred in the until they are ready?
     
  10. StacyMM

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    My daughter was doing injections when she was fairly little...but she doesn't remember a life without shots and once she was old enough to grip the Inject-Ease, she was off. My son started in the hospital - at his age, it was part of the training - but it took a few weeks to get to 100% on them. He was nervous about using his arms because it was awkward.

    Every kid and every circumstance is different, and if you are worried in third grade about what 5th grade rules will be, I think you can relax and give it time. Between now and then, he'll probably want to go somewhere without you and he'll need to be able to do his own shots...that's a big motivator. Or, if you are concerned, look into diabetes camps. I think they are amazing at getting kids to move toward more independence and self care. And, I am perfectly comfortable with bribery, so that would be an option, too.
     
  11. Mish

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    I sort of think that if I were 9 and I had to do shots, I'd probably prefer someone else to do them too. I don't think there's anything abnormal about someone still giving a shot if that's what he prefers.

    My old endo and CDE were very much about letting kids do things when they felt ready but also that parents should stay fully engaged through high school. It usually results in far less diabetes burnout. There's research that suggests the same. That doesn't mean that you'll be babying your child , it just means that you're letting them lead the way. But it also means that you're reigning them in when you see that they're trying to take on far more than they should. I've seen posts from parents who brag about letting their 10 year old do "everything" because their 10 year olds have demanded it. I've also seen posts where 10 year old kids have been forced to do everything and the parents wonder why it's not happening. That's how burnout happens. You as a parent know appropriate limits for your child. You know what he's ready for. Sometimes you push a little. Sometimes you don't.

    In my family, I tend to err on the side of still doing a lot for my son. He's fully capable of managing his diabetes perfectly well on his own, but he still likes for me to do site changes and sensor changes and over the next two years we'll work on transitioning those tasks to him before college. On the flip side, when he was very young I let him bolus on his pump by himself (obviously with him telling me the numbers). HE was a numbers oriented kid, he didn't mess up numbers. Would that work for all kids? Maybe not. Would some 16 year olds be strongly protesting mom doing site changes? Maybe so. But it works for our family.

    and not for nothing, we have almost zero diabetes issues with him at this point. So, at this moment, we're on the right path. And I think that's the point. Do what works for YOUR child. Diabetes 101 based on Ethan. Not diabetes 101 based on what someone "thinks" he should be doing.
     
  12. Just Jen

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    My daughter went to Diabetes camp last summer and that was one of the things the counselors worked on with each of the kids that wasn't already doing it. Might you be able to find a teenager or college student with diabetes to mentor him. It might be easier for him to do it for someone else other than you. Just a thought. For what it's worth, my daughter took several months before she gave herself a shot, but we didn't do them in the butt, we did them in her arms and legs. Those were spots that were easier for her to reach.
     
  13. wilf

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    Our daughter was diagnosed at 10 and started giving shots by syringe at 11. We made it a condition of her going on sleepovers, that she be able to manage the diabetes fully (with telephone coaching from us).

    But I agree with others - each child is unique and there is no specific age at which a child must be doing this themselves provided it happens by their mid-teens.
     
  14. MomofSweetOne

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    ^^^This! Teen burnout is real, and staying a team helps. It's hard when others pressure or make comments, though, and have no idea at how differently families and medical teams approach it and what research says. I talked to one endo office that informed me by 15, the kids should be managing completely on their own, parents not involved in appointments, or anything. It goes against all current research; needless to say, we're not at that practice for a multitude of reasons.
     
  15. lcblk27

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    My son did day diabetes camp 2 years ago and sleepover diabetes camp last year. He is planning on doing it again this year (I better get on that!) so maybe it will help get him over that hump.
     
  16. lcblk27

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    Thank you for all the responses, definitely some good food for thought and a good reminder to just slow down and take things at his rate, not anyone else's.
     
  17. Butterfly Betty

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    My daughter was diagnosed when she was eight. She gave herself shots from the start, but there were plenty of times when she wanted me to take control. She had an amazing nurse in the hospital who really encouraged her to take responsibility for what was happening with her body and that gave her the courage to try. I've always felt that these are their bodies, their lives, and we have to take out cues from them when it comes to how much responsibility we give, or take, from them. Her school has also pulled the should be card and I simply remind them tha she will have a lifetime of being responsible for this diseas, it's okay for us to take some it from her now.
     
  18. mom24grlz

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    Ashleigh was diagnosed at 11. She started her own shots about 2 wks following diagnosis. Her aunt who is also a type 1 encouraged her to start doing her own shots, and she did. Now the only time i actually give her a shot is in the middle of the night or if she's feeling sick.
     
  19. MEVsmom

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    My daughter was diagnosed about three months before her 8th birthday. With no pressure, she decided she wanted to give her own shots when she turned 8 and she did. She started with pens, but now she will do a pen or a syringe. She has never allowed us to do her finger pricks. Even in the middle of the night, she will wake up and take it from you if you try to prick her finger. I know camp is mentioned and my daughter said that was definitely something they worked on for the kids that weren't already doing it. I get not pushing them if they are not ready, but I do think there is something to be said about encouraging them to be able to do it on their own.
     
  20. msschiel

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    My son was almost 11 when diagnosed and pretty much did all his shots from the start (pens). Now that we are pumping, I usually help him with site changes, but if I am not home, he will do them himself. I help with dex sensor changes, only because we use the backs of arms and he can't really reach that area. He will inject via syringe if we need to correct and says he likes syringes better than the pen needles. I think encouraging them to do as much as possible is best, but also helping them out when they need it is good, too. After they leave the nest, we won't always be there do so things for them.
     

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