From Lichfield, Staffordshire, Untied Kingdom:
What effects can diabetes have on a child's all round development?
I don't think there should be any detrimental effects of diabetes on a child's development, but this is difficult to measure since each child is unique, and every family is different in how they all handle the diabetes and its management. Working with a diabetes team is instrumental in how the child develops as a person with diabetes.
We usually say that the child who has diabetes is a person first, and someone with diabetes second. A child with diabetes should do the kid stuff, be just like their peers, while at the same time keeping the basics of blood glucose control in mind. If that child wants to climb a mountain, fine, just be sure to take the proper precautions.
Additional comments from Dr. Jill Weissberg-Benchell:There has been a great deal of research on children with diabetes. In general, children with diabetes do just as well as children without diabetes. However, children with diabetes can be at an increased risk for learning disabilities, if they have frequent and/or severe hypoglycemic episodes. In addition, living with a chronic illness that has the intensive daily demands of balancing insulin, exercise and food can place a burden on the children and their families. Every family handles this burden differently, but it can lead to increased frustrations and conflict if the family does not work closely as a team on sharing these responsibilities.
[Editor's comment: In terms of physical development, a child who happens to have diabetes should grow and mature as any other child, provided there has been reasonable blood glucose control. SS]
Original posting 26 Mar 2002
Posted to Other
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:31
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