How do you explain T1D to your children?

If you are a parent with T1D: How do you explain T1D to your children?

Read our Q&A on "The ABC's of T1D" and share your tips for others in the comments section! http://jdrf.org/blog/2013/qa-the-abcs-of-t1d/

Small children see you test and use your pump and it's a part of life.  When my son was preschool age he liked to watch me do infusion set changes and I'd let him pick the spot where I'd put my next site.

Now that he's older he can understand more complicated information like that my pancreas doesn't work and it caused me to have diabetes.  

In addition to explaining about type 1 to your children you have to alleviate their fears about it.  That means avoiding lows and treating them quickly if they do happen.  You should never be incapacitated by a low when caring for your children.

Most kids of people with diabetes also wonder if they'll get diabetes too.  I've reassured my son that it is extremely unlikely and that he only has a 2% chance of getting it.  He loves to count money (we're thinking he'll either grow up to be a business tycoon or a bank robber) and so we once counted out 100 pennies and explained that only 2 of the 100 is a 2% chance.  That helped him see it was really unlikely and hopefully mitigated his fear a little.

I was diagnosed when I was 7 and my teacher wanted me to explain diabetes to my class so I used the book they used to explain it to me at the children's hospital. It was called "Donny and Diabetes" and was from the 1970s or so. According to Amazon it is out of print. It had really simple stick-figure drawings but explained things in a really simple way. It was so dated, the kid in the book used urine tablets to check his glucose. I was using chemstrips at that time (1989).  Is anyone using books about diabetes these days?

Disney and Lilly have partnered up and have some awesome books...free...just contact Lily and find them..age 4-teens!