I have diabetes YO!!!

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cool diabetes 300x142 I have diabetes YO!!!Have you ever tried to make diabetes look cool?

We all know diabetes can be  as cool as a bag of rocks but I have the honor of  talking to my son’s  fifth grade class about it next week and I figure the only way I will get to reach these 10 year old pre -teens is at their level.

While I have always volunteered for my son’s career day since he was in first grade, when it comes to 10-11 year old kids I believe I have to change my tactics a little bit to grab their attention.are you smarter than a fifth grader 300x290 I have diabetes YO!!!

It was far much easier for the younger kids but as they grow older, their attention spans tend to shorten.

Am no astronaut, 007 or even Kanye West but I do believe my ode to juvenile diabetes should include teaching these kids on how to deal with someone with diabetes that they may encounter, be it a classmate, a relative or even a stranger.

The state of diabetes today is that our kids are experiencing the effects of diabetes on a regular basis and they should be made aware of the disease and its effects.

When I had to teach my son about it, I used the following guidelines and I will be using these same one’s next week.

Here are a few tips on how to teach your kids about diabetes, its dangers and your fight.

  1. Be truthful – kids are more resilient than we give them credit for so please be truthful and explain what diabetes is and what to expect but be sure  not scare them.
  2. Incorporate them in the management plan – while my son likes candy he will not let me touch a piece even if I want to. He keeps me on the straight and narrow more than anyone else.
  3. Teach them the value of eating right and exercise as part of an overall healthier eating habits
  4. Tell them that diabetes is manageable and that with the right lifestyle changes that you are going to live a long time yet
  5. Make it fun – make management into a fun endeavor with rewards for activities and healthier eating.
  6. If you are still struggling with your diabetes, do not let them see you negative or depressed it will have a longer negative impact on their view of the disease
  7. you might want to dispel any negative information as well like diabetes is not contagious so if they have a school mate or friend who is diabetic that they don’t have to shun them.
  8. Tell them about symptoms and what to do if you are  suddenly struck down how to help by calling 911 or getting an adult.
  9. Tell them about Insulin and do a demonstration on  how you have to take it, if it is injections or an insulin pump.
  10. Assure them that being diabetic does not mean that things will change for the worse, remind them that you love them and that it is a better living for everyone.

Now how can I look cool doing this I wonder?

May be I should just get them some diabetes  engraved pens or  personalized pencils from  Amsterdam printing, I was thinking the diabetes graffiti above will make the pen cool enough for them to remember.

what do you guys think?

 

6 Comments

  1. I think that giving an injection in front of them will make you look cool ;) I did that in front of my 6th grade class when I got diagnosed and for some strange reason it really boosted my popularity at school. LOL

    I love all of your 10 tips!

    Kids love adults that don’t speak to them like they’re little kids so I think that if you do what you plan to do, they’ll realize how cool you are in no time.

    You may want to mention some famous atheletes with diabetes because that seems to prove to kids that diabetes definitely doesn’t have to hold someone back

  2. Great guidelines. If you’re teaching a group you might want to include the warning signs of diabetes. Kids are REALLY observant and may save someone’s life if they see some of the symptoms in a relative or friend.

    • Great point Bernard i will be sure to include the warning signs as well, everyday we hear about kids as young as 3 who call 911 when an adult is in trouble, so i believe its never too young to get them to understand warning signs.

  3. Don’t know how you could ever make diabetes sound cool but maybe you could tell then a bit about the history of diabetes. It’s one of the oldest recorded diseases, doctors would taste patients pee to check if it was sweet to help diagnose it and up until the early 1920s when insulin was discovered, people had a life expectancy of weeks after being diagnosed with it.

    If that seems a bit too boring and dry maybe you could make a list of famous people with diabetes, if they can relate the condition to someone they know or identify with it might make it more relevant. Also using athletes like Jay Cutler and Sir Steve Redgrave (UK rower and the only person to win five consecutive Olympic gold medals) would be a great way to show that diabetes is not a barrier to achieving your goals.

    As well as educating these children on healthy lifestyles and prevention of type 2 diabetes I think that because you are addressing children about diabetes it would be a good idea to explain the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

    Since type 1 diabetes accounts for the majority of diabetes cases among children it is likely that any child they know with diabetes will have type 1. You can’t prevent type 1 diabetes but you could make these kids life a lot easier by dispelling some myths by just saying that these children could not have prevent their diabetes and they did not get it because they ate to much sugar. It’s an auto immune condition and no one is sure about what causes it.

    Best of luck anyway, I’m sure you’ll find a way to make diabetes cool.

    • Thanks Lucy, it seems the consensus here is use the famous people approach, maybe those that are easily identifiable, a few years back I used the interesting facts about diabetes concepts and did include how doctors used to taste pee, that caused quite a stir but it stuck with the younger kids and hopefully my next approach will do the same. While its true most of the diabetes cases you see in kids is type 1 and I always make the distinction, type 2 is also creeping into these kids lives now and I wanted to include that as well, go little bit beyond just the differences and covering some related topics like the importance of healthy eating and exercise.

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