A friend of mine asked me to post for her. Her son was just diagnosed with T1 Diabetes. In her training in the hospital, it was very clear that she needs to make him eat all his food in a pretty short period of time. Usually towards the end of the feeding, he gets very upset, and she basically has to force feed him. It feels awful to my friend, but it is medically necessary. Does anyone have tips or thoughts on how to get through this or make it easier for this sweet little boy?
Also, she notes that he often becomes aggressive when his blood sugar is high or when he's otherwise frustrated. He hits and and grabs and throws things, including the diabetes supplies if she can't keep them away from them, when this happens. She is living in someone else's home now and doesn't have total control over child-proofing.
Another challenge is that she also has a 7 month old breastfeeding baby to care for.
She is really interested in talking with other gentle discipline mothers who have been through this and needs support. Gentle discipline was already very challenging for her before the diabetes diagnosis, as she was raised very roughly, and the diabetes brings more stress and challenge to her goals!
Thank you guys so much for any feedback, advice, resources or words of support. :)
Mama to a bilingual (Arabic/English) and cuddly 3 year old, and planning another peaceful homebirth in June.
You simply cannot discipline a child for behavior that is outside of their control. You wouldn't punish a child for having a seizure would you? Aggressive issues due to blood sugar are not a matter of the child being "bad" or having "bad" behaviors, it's the bodies response to the increase in sugar.
Your friend should reach out to the local childhood diabetes foundation and ask for a recommendation for a therapist to work with the family on managing their child's food intake as well as their responses to the child's normal and medically induced behaviors. Really, the hardest part (behavior wise) is figuring out what is normal 28 month old stuff and what is being caused by the diabetes. Once you figure that out, it does get a lot easier.
I'm type 1, diagnosed about 18 months ago so I can sympathise with how much of a shock it must be to your friend and how much they have had to learn very quickly. I found it very hard going for several months and I can only imagine how much harder it would be had it been one of my kids.
It sounds like your Friends DS is getting injections before meals, meaning he then has to eat all that is one his plate, and within a short enough time for the insulin not to have dropped his sugar levels to low. She may want to back to her health professional and check if he has to have his jab before the meal. I know I was told that with some of the fast acting insulins available it was OK to inject after eating, providing you do it straight away. That way you can just inject for what has been eaten which might help with the food situation.
Another option might be to investigate and insulin pump. I'm afraid I don't know that much about them but I do see a lot of people on forums who's kids are using them.
In terms of the mood swings, they may well decrease once his blood sugar levels stabalise, I know mine did.
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