(thank you to the lady on Facebook who originally posted this)
A recent survey shows that children with Type 1 diabetes are likely to be victimized by bullies.
The poll conducted by the Children With Diabetes together with the Juvenile Diabetes Research (JDR) Foundation reported that out of the 181 parents who responded to the survey, more than fifty percent said that their child had experienced bullying due to their condition.
Sixty per cent of parents surveyed believed that being viewed as different by other kids cause distress to their children more than the daily injections and finger prick tests needed to keep their children alive. Parents of the children with Type 1 diabetes reported that some of the taunts their children are getting from other kids besides being called fat, were druggie, junkie, and weird. They are also telling the children that their condition is their fault for eating too much sugar.
A Clinical Study showed that children with diabetes reported higher rates of relational victimization and lower levels of pro social peer support than youths without diabetes. Diabetic children are also prone to suffer depression, social anxiety and loneliness.
Experts say that it is important for doctors and other health professionals treating kids with diabetes to find out whether a child is being bullied. The child might need help with social skills or self-esteem to help ward off bullying or teasing and help him cope better.
Bullying could also interfere with diabetes care, because if a child is afraid of being bullied, he may not test his blood glucose or stick to his diet when he is with his peers.
“I think there is also a place in the schools for education related to children living with diabetes,” says Margo Small, a social worker with the diabetes team at The Hospital for Sick Children. “This kind of education could help minimize the potential for bullying.”
Meanwhile, JRDF said that parents and victims of bullying should have the time to talk and communicate. The Foundation also said that there are groups that could give advice and support, such as, the CyberMentors, which could be accessed online.
The organization said that they believe that to prevent children from being bullied and stigmatized, people need to have a wider understanding of the disease and to challenge common misconceptions. They also said that people should remind the authorities about the importance of conducting research for Type 1 diabetes.
To raise awareness and to mark “Diabetes Week,” which runs from June 13 to 19, the JDRF is asking the public, the media and the government to give their commitment for a better understanding of Type 1 diabetes and to stress the need for its cure.
“Through our campaign, we ask MPs to take notice of children in their constituencies with Type 1 diabetes and to urge them to consider Type 1 diabetes when making healthcare decisions for the country.” JDRF stated.
Meanwhile, JDRF has produced a pocket guide to Type 1 diabetes, which gives useful information for friends, family and care givers of a person suffering from the disease.