"When my son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I didn't realise it was our whole family that was diagnosed. Everything changed and we had to learn a new kind of "normal" so that we could have control of type 1 diabetes rather than it having control of us. I am happy to say that my son is a normal, happy, gorgeous boy that doesn't take anything for granted. He works hard at type 1 diabetes and appreciates everything - we all do!"
Parents of Children with Type 1 Diabetes
When your child is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes it affects the whole family. Even when your child has had type 1 diabetes for many years there are still adjustments to be made with each new activity or growth spurt. It can be a constant learning curve. But you are not alone, many parents before you have been down this very path.
How can JDRF help?
JDRF was founded by parents of children with type 1 diabetes. We are dedicated to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications through the support of research.
You can stay up to date on the latest type 1 diabetes research breakthroughs and get connected to the type 1 diabetes community through the JDRF monthly type 1 diabetes newsletter. Get involved in our support programs or make a difference by participating in one of our fundraising events.
JDRF are here to help - you are not alone.
Parents need support too
The best advice will usually come from people who have ‘been there'. Sometimes you just need to talk to someone who really understands what you are going through. That's why the JDRF Peer Support Program connects people newly affected by type 1 diabetes with a volunteer who has been through the same experience and can offer practical help and advice.
Type 1 diabetes can be overwhelming, and ‘diabetes burnout' in parents is not uncommon. If you feel like you need to talk, there is support. Contact the JDRF Peer Support Program today to speak to a volunteer.
Meeting other kids with type 1 diabetes
Meeting other kids with type 1 diabetes can really lift your child's confidence. JDRF offers a number of programs for kids, like becoming a Youth Ambassador. We also hold family picnics in most states and territories every year.
Everyday type 1 diabetes
- School - Students with type 1 diabetes need a strong support network at school. It's important for parents to build good relationships with teachers and staff. Students with diabetes may face challenges with events like school camps and excursions. The journey is different for everyone. For advice from other parents contact the JDRF Peer Support Program, or visit the Diabetes Kids and Teens website
- Sport - Children with type 1 diabetes should be encouraged to play sport and exercise. Testing their blood glucose before and after exercise, and recording their food intake and type of exercise will help you to see the trends in their blood glucose levels. Knowing this, you and your child's diabetes team can come up with a workable strategy.
- Sleepovers - All kids love to sleep over at a friend's place. This can make parents of children with diabetes especially anxious. Plan the stay and give the host parent(s) simple advice on meal requirements, timings and hypos. Make sure the family understands when and how to contact you. It's also a good idea to talk to your diabetes team about an insulin plan for sleepovers.
Type 1 diabetes can be a financial burden on families but there is help available.
- Insulin Pump Subsidy - Australian Government subsidies of up to $6,400 are now available for insulin pumps for children aged under 18 years.
- Health Care Card - All families with a child under 16 years can apply for a Health Care Card. The card allows prescription items and some medical services to be purchased at lower prices.
- Carers' Allowance - Some families may qualify for a fortnightly Carers' Allowance payment, which is assessed by Centrelink on an individual basis.There is a Federal Government review currently underway into this program.
- National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) - Registration to the Federal Government's NDSS allows diabetes supplies such as syringes, test strips and needles to be purchased at cheaper rates.
Research and clinical trials
Every day, technology, management techniques for the disease and research to find a cure are making progress. While we're not there yet, there is hope to find a cure for type 1 diabetes.
We work with scientists and people affected by type 1 diabetes to fund the best and most promising projects within five complementary type 1 diabetes research pathways that have been identified as having the potential to find a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications.
Some JDRF research projects are currently advancing to clinical trial phase. If you are interested in participating in JDRF-funded clinical trials there are a number currently underway right here in Australia.
- Caring for Diabetes in Children and Adolescents: A parents manual
- Diabetes Counselling Online
- Diabetes and Teens - a guide for parents
- Diabetes Kids and Teens
- Beyond Blue
- Diabetes Australia
- JDRF International
- Reality Check
You can contribute to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes
To help JDRF find a cure for type 1 diabetes, you can make a donation online. No matter how large or small, your gift will help JDRF continue to move research from the laboratory through to a clinical reality for the 122,300 Australians currently living with type 1 diabetes.