My child has Type 1 Diabetes - Calm Kid Central

My child has Type 1 Diabetes

 If you have a child with Type 1 Diabetes – a special welcome to Calm Kid Central!   Several of our psychologists have a special interest and long standing experiencing in working with these extra special kids and their families and we are very happy you have found this program.

We know that in Australia while many children experience mental, emotional and social health challenges, children with Type 1 Diabetes are at a slightly higher risk of experiencing these challenges – and this is especially true in the initial months following the T1D diagnosis.  Some children find they have extra difficulties managing frustration, disappointment, worry and social challenges as they work out how to manage their diabetes. 

This can be really tough for parents/caregivers too, as they feel sad or concerned about their child – and like all parents – feel not quite sure what to say or what to do at times.

Our approach to working with children with Type 1 Diabetes is to first celebrate their strengths and the courage and personality they show in managing the challenges they might have. Secondly, we want to help them learn skills and strategies to manage any worries they have – including worries about their diabetes, to feel co-operative and calm about the additional tasks they might have to manage their diabetes and help them feel calm and confident in relating to their peers – about all issues, and also those which are specifically related to their diabetes.  

In order to help children learn these skills and strategies, we focus not on the “diagnosis” of Type 1 Diabetes itself, but instead identify common challenges and problematic experiences that children with Type 1 Diabetes have – and work on building skills and strategies to help them cope with this.

This means we do not have a stand alone or specific course for children with diabetes, but instead have created all of the videos and resources within this program with these children in mind. 

Also, in all of the lessons in the Children’s and Parent’s library, there is a button called “I have/My child has Type 1 Diabetes”.  You can click on this button after you have watched the video and/or done the activities (it won’t make sense unless you do this first) to help you and your child think about how the lesson relates specifically to having the additional challenge of managing diabetes.

 To help your child with Type 1 Diabetes use Calm Kid Central:

1. Choose one course which you feel will be most helpful for them to start with – either the Managing Frustration Course, the Getting along with Others course or the Managing Anxiety course.

2. Get started on one of these courses and complete 1-2 lessons each week.  Allow about 15 minutes to go through each lesson (watch the video, do the activity sheet, and once you have done these activities, THEN, click on the “I have Type 1 Diabetes” button for the extra poster for your child.  This can be a great conversation with children with Type 1 Diabetes in itself (“Do you think this is true for you? What is helpful in this video and what is not helpful”?).

3. Spend a week getting your child to slowly complete the “at home practice sheet” for that lesson. Depending on the age, stage and circumstances of your child – you may need to talk about whether the material “fits” for them.

 To use Calm Kid Central yourself as a parent of a child with Type 1 Diabetes 

4. You (and if possible, another adult in a child’s life – a second parent/grandparent) should choose one of the parent/caregiver courses you feel is most helpful for you – the videos in the parent library are a little longer (about 10 minutes each), but you can just read the tip sheets if you would rather a quick overview rather than learning more in depth material. Remember that you know your child best, so if you think there is some content or ideas within these courses which do not quite apply to your child – feel free to disregard this material.

 5. Once you have started on both a child or a parent course, please feel free to ask our Child Psychologist panel any questions at any time.  When you ask a question – let us know your child has Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis so we can keep that in mind when we answer. We want to help.

All the best as you work through the courses in Calm Kid Central, and let us know any time if we can help.

Kirrilie and the CKC team.

** Important **

Please do not use your full name or email address so you can ensure any questions you ask on the Question Centre are anonymous to other users.