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How much self- care is realistic for a 6 yr old?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by khannen, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. khannen

    khannen Approved members

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    Shealyn will be heading to 1st grade on July 9th. Our family has homeschooled the past 2 years, but now the kids are heading to public school instead. I met with the nurse today to complete the health plan. I have a meeting again on Tuesday for 504 and training about her pump and cgms.

    I was a bit confused by the nurses reaction though...We do basically all of Shealyn's care. She can do a finger poke, but doesn't know what to "do" with that number. We count her carbs. We do the pump boluses. We do all treatments and pump calculations. I got the impression they expected her to be doing more of it.

    Is it just me?? She's only 6 and 1/2 yrs old. Am I in the minority because I don't make her do it or are they just expecting too much? Lol
     
  2. Amy C.

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    My son could not reliably read numbers at 6. He recognized digits but sometimes forgot to turn the meter the right direction and occasionally read the numbers backwards.

    It wasn't until he was 10 or 11 that I could depend on him to take the right action.

    You have the correct expectations for your child. The nurse is hoping that some day your daughter will do more of her care.
     
  3. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    At 6 1/2, after dx at late 4, we had no expectation whatsoever that Maddie would do any of her own care.

    I'd email or call the nurse now so that you don't feel you need to mull this over all summer. It's such an important transition and you and the nurse have to have similar expectations.

    Good luck!:cwds:
     
  4. Flutterby

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    Nope, its not you.. Kaylee just completed first grade, the ONLY thing she could (and still can) do is doing her own finger pokes.. she's JUST learning what the numbers mean..we are working on her putting in the numbers to her pump, after someone else figures them out.. next years teacher is a bit shakey, so they thought it might be better for Kaylee to enter the stuff in the pump (teacher gets worse when she's nervous).. I have no problem with Kaylee putting the info in the pump as long as there is someone there to watch and varify it, but she won't be doing it herself for several years.
     
  5. Heather(CA)

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    You are NOT alone...When I first read your title "How much self- care is realistic for a 6 yr old?" My first thought was "NOT MUCH" Then, I was relieved to find out it wasn't you expecting her to do too much.:D How's that for an answer? ;):D
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  6. matpat

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    6 is too young to expect much, especially with all the other changes happening.

    But, I will say that I was totally surprised when, this year, my 7 y.o. DD could correctly draw up insulin and give herself a shot w/ supervision.
     
  7. mapoe4

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    John is 6 and going into the first grade. I don't think he is old enough to do things by himself.
    He knows how to input the carb amount and on his snacks that he has all the time he knows the carb amount. He can read the carbs on some things and can add some of it together.
    I will let him input them on his pump but under close supervision. He will still turn the meter the wrong way and read the numbers backwards sometimes.
    I would not let him do any of this alone yet because even though he is very bright and above level in school he is still only 6.
    John's school tried to have me teach him how to do everything by himself when he started kindergarten because they said they were not aloud to touch his pump.
     
  8. momof1CWDinohio

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    My son is 6 1/2 entering first grade and was diagnosed not quite 3 months ago. His endocrinologist and nurses in the endo's office told us not to have him do any self-care on his own. The school nurses, on the other hand, encouraged him to do all of his blood sugar checks and injections -- with supervision, of course. I resisted that for a while, but then he started showing so much interest (literally begging) that I began allowing him to check his own sugar and tell me what it is. I still always check the meter, but he is able to read it correctly and generally interpret what the numbers mean.

    For another month or so, I didn't let him do his own injections. However, he begged and begged -- he said he didn't like the way I did shots. After talking with a much more experienced mom, I was given the very good advice to let him take some ownership when he shows strong interest (regardless of what endo says - she said it is the parent and not the endo who knows her child and is managing the disease from day to day). She told me of a 6th grader who has had diabetes for years but still doesn't do any self-care.

    So we began to let him draw up his own insulin and give his own injections (double- and triple-checked to make sure all air bubbles gone and dosed correctly), and he got pretty good at it. Now we are on the pen, which is much easier for him. He can get it all set up, prime it and give his own injections....in all areas except his bottom, where we do his Lantus each night. We are always right there with him, sometimes helping to pinch the skin, and always making sure the dose is correct.

    We will not for a very long time let him do this all by himself, but I don't see anything wrong with letting him take some control since he wanted to so much. But he really likes taking charge the way he has....gives him some control of this disease none of us ever wanted him to have. He especially likes to do this in front of his non-diabetic friends who are so afraid of shots and blood (which, ironically, is where he was 3 months ago pre-diagnosis -- he celebrated when the pediatrician told him no more regular vaccinations until age 11!).

    I know I am very new to managing this disease, but I guess what I've learned for our son and family so far is that he has had to grow up so fast just in the past few months. We the family (not the school nurses, not the endo) are the ones who truly know our child, and if he wants to take some control and we think he is ready, we will let him under our supervision. So if someone tells me he is ready or not ready to do something on his own, I take it with a grain of salt. Maybe he is and maybe he isn't, but my husband and I and our son are the only ones who really know.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  9. Schpoodle's Dad

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    DD started to test her sugars when she was 3 1/2. She didn't know what the numbers meant but she had to do it on her own so she could go to Jr Kindergarten. (Alberta is VERY backwards when it comes to D care at school.) Now at 4 1/2 she is very close to being able to understand what the numbers mean. The next thing will be getting her to do her own shots because she will have to do them at school next year (with assistance of course). Scares the crap out of me just thinking about this.
     
  10. StillMamamia

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    You're not wrong. Even if a kid can read numbers, and maybe know what to do, it's way too early to expect any self-care.
    Sadly, they have plenty of time to do that for the rest of their lives.:(
    Until the cure comes.
     
  11. MamaChrissa

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    Jason was Dx'ed at 4 and a half. (Well, 4 years 4 months and 5 days old...but who's counting! ;)) Since the get go, he has shown a great interest in his own care. From 5 months into DX he has been doing all his awake finger poles and interpreting the numbers. He knows a high from a low and can both treat his lows and "correct" his highs. We kept it simple. Treat with fruit snacks or an Airhead and follow the pumps directions. I can honestly not remember one single mistake he has made. He is free to poke at anytime and for any reason. I just could not see the point in keeping him from doing what he could clearly do by himself, for himself. Like another poster said, he needs/likes to feel in charge of his own body and anything I can do to make him feel more empowered I will happily do. I also don't really buy the "burnout" theory. :cwds:
     
  12. virgo39

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    DD was diagnosed 7 months ago and is now almost six, entering first grade in the fall.

    She cleans her hands and pokes her own finger most of the time and applies blood to the test strip.

    She tries to read the number on the meter ... but isn't reliable at recognizing numbers and does not know what to do with them.

    She knows that if she is low, she needs one glucose tab and to be rechecked in 15 minutes.

    She can talk someone through the steps of preparing her Novopen Jr. and can do most of the steps herself.

    She does not count carbs or make any dosing decisions.

    She knows that cheese is a "free" food.

    I think that she is doing quite well. We are working with her on better number recognition and identifying numbers that are above, below, and in range.

    I do not think it is reasonable to expect a lot more than that, although some kids can do more.
     
  13. hawkeyegirl

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    My son is 6, diagnosed at 3, and does none of his own care. He's too busy being a kid. ;)

    I do believe that burnout happens (or else a lot of posters on here are liars). I'm obviously not going to go off to college doing all of his care, and sometime between now and then he'll take it over. Neither one of us are in any great hurry for that to happen, so for now, we're both happy. :)
     
  14. MamaChrissa

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    Of course burnout happens. With D care, homework, keeping one's room clean and personal hygiene. All kids go through it. However I fail to see how me doing all his care will prevent that. By that same theory I should be wiping his behind after he uses the bathroom and doing his spelling homework for him too, to prevent those burnouts as well.
     
  15. StillMamamia

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    This is where we are too. We've taken Ian's lead for what to do next.
    He will test outside of the home by himself. He does know what the number means. He's currently learning the new pump's way of bolusing, because he wants to. But we don't expect him to do it, much less take a decision by himself. That's way too early. We also don't expect things of him yet regarding D (totally different regarding tidying up, being polite, etc, IMO).

    He feels proud for doing something, but it is not imposed or expected of him at this age.

    Site changes are not for the near future at all. He hates them, period.;)
     
  16. hawkeyegirl

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    I'd hardly equate wiping a 6 year old's bottom to doing his D care. :rolleyes: And perhaps you are aware of teenagers who get tired of wiping their own butts and just stop doing so? Not a real good analogy there, my dear.
     
  17. mmc51264

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    Zach is 6, going into 1st grade, has been at this school for More at Four and Kind. This past year, he started to want to test himself and then teacher/aide would read meter. I agree that you should let the kids "take" over the responsibilities they can, with supervision obviously. He konws what lows and highs are but still can't tell me when he feels either, It is still: "I'm hungry (if he is low)" and "I'm thirsty (if he is high).

    I am in the Raleigh area too!
    What County??
    Just asking, do you have your 504 in place?? I would recommend it. Wake is better than Johnston; have no idea about Harnett. But we had a heck of a time and glad we have all the proper papers in place early.
    Good luck and if you need any help around here, let me know. Former teacher and parent of a T1 :cwds:
     
  18. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Maybe you will when you've been at it longer :rolleyes:
     
  19. danismom79

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    Does he do the treating and correcting without your supervision? I'm trying to get my 11-year-old in the habit of treating without feeling like she needs to ask first, but for corrections, she has to double-check with me. Any insulin she doses goes by me first.
     
  20. MamaChrissa

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    The point I was trying to make, sweetheart, is that me poking his finger for him for the next 20 years does not ensure he will not get burnt out. All it would ensure, for him anyway, is that dh and I do not believe he is capable of even taking the smallest amount of responsibility for himself. It would be insulting and imho, dangerous. Empowering a kid is the best way to teach them good health practices.
     

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