We have a 10 year-old son with T1D. I have always wanted to find a playmate for our child who also has T1D, but didn't know how to go about accomplishing this. We live in a suburb of a large city (Houston/Sugar Land, TX) but don't know of any groups. I've thought of trying to organize something--like a T1D activity at a play center, but wasn't sure of a good way to do so. Anyone have suggestions?
I would recommend reaching out through message boards like this one as well as on www.childrenwithdiabetes.com and the diabetes research institute 'pep squad' - that is a facebook page. You might also find a yahoo group in your area - brave buddies is a group you can join but most of the members are in the SF bay area. Does the local JDRF have any groups? If possible a great place for your child to meet other kids is at the Friends for Life conference in Orlando put on by Children With Diabetes. It is an amazing experience for the whole family - Malcolm (my D child) has really made friends for life from all over the world! I will do some digging around for you to see what I can come up with in your area. All the best, Barbi
This is something I was actually talking about with friends recently.
My observations on the whole affair are that in-person Friends With Diabetes (FWD) are few and far between. Seeking them out is a noble gesture, but unlikely to work out.
The communities seem to be found in two places:
TuDiabetes, other sites or simply digital communication seem to be the predominant way these things work out. As a shameless plug for the place I work for, Ayogo Health, we have created a free app called Diabesties that's a great way for friends with diabetes to stay in touch and gripe about the trials and tribulations. It's also one of the most hassle-free loggers I've seen.
#2: Diabetes-Focused Events
Friends For Life, diabetes camps (contact your children's endocrinologist's office for ones near you!) and other similar events give Kids With Diabetes (KWD) a chance to meet other people with the same challenges. The friendships formed there tend to turn into connections of the #1 variety as well.
I hope this helps.
P.S. I take my 7 year-old to diabetes camp nearly every year. :o)
Found this via the JDRF site - I bet you can reach out and meet people.
FOTOD, or Families of Type Ones Diabetics, is a support and education group for families that are living with type one diabetes daily. Our goal is to educate families on healthy living and to offer support to both newly diagnosed families and families that have been living with this disease for a while. This group is based in Houston, Texas.
To join our network of families, please send an email to Kimberly Robertshaw or visit our yahoo group webpage, by clicking on the FOTOD image.
We are not responsible for any medical advice since we are not medical doctors. WE also ask that you NOT POST ANY MEDICAL ADVICE!
Hi. I live in Metairie, La. We have also had difficulties in finding friends for my 11 year old little girl to relate to. How is your son dealing with his diabetes? I believe that diabetes camp would be a wonderful place for him to make friends. Google it and you should be able to find the location nearest you. I suspect it will be the same one we have gone to in the past, which is near Independence, La.
Thanks Barbi! I appreciate the suggestions. I will try the link out that you provided in your other post too! The Friends for Life conference sounds amazing!
Thank you Mignonne. We just signed him up for a camp called lions camp, so we are on the same page there. As for how he is dealing with diabetes, I should probably say really well (and keep my fingers crossed). He is an unusual little boy in that he is very regimented. For example, he brushes his teeth using a timer for 2 minutes twice day along with flossing--and never do we have to remind him. He is fiercely independent with his diabetes care and has never shown the slightest resentment toward his diabetes management--except for with the school nurse! He tracks the little changes to how we correct, but the nurse has to follow the signed sheet. He will argue with her and insist that she let him treat a low or correct a high in the manner he believes is correct. He's not always right on with his math, but usually very close. I so hope that some of these are solid personality traits and stay with him through his teens!
We have had great luck with JDRF activities in our area. See if thee is a local chapter there.God Luck.
This has been a bit of an initial challenge for me too, as my 8 year-old son was diagnosed last month with T1. We've gone to a local JDRF meeting and met a few families and that was really helpful for my husband and me, but I'd really like to find some local (Cleveland, OH) friends for my son who are around his age.
Until we find that, I can tell you that YouTube videos have really been a big help to my son! I've found some blogs with videos and some of the "You Can Do This" diabetes series (specifically the kids' videos) have been fun for him to watch. He sees kids with pumps doing site changes or just acting like normal kids his age and then talking about their diabetes and it's been encouraging for him.
Good luck and let me know if you find something good and I will do the same!
Thanks Jen! Yes, we have found YouTube to be a great resource. One channel that we like in particular is diabetic danica. She's this very energetic, sweet young lady. My son even did a video response to one of her videos!
all great suggestions! we are in the middle of nowhere and we hve an active jdrf walk and group, but for kennedy to meet her school peers and for me to get to know their moms, I just poached off her school email lists and figured out who the other moms were and introduced myself, there are 3 in her class and they are all boys besides kennedy but they are all big buds now, and going to camp together. they have helped each other a lot!