Telling Others

"I didn't think it was a big deal, but Michael got so mad at me when I told our neighbor that he had diabetes. I guess he just wasn't ready."

  • Being diagnosed with diabetes is a life-changing event. For many kids, it takes time to accept their new reality and be ready to share with others.
  • As a parent, you may want to tell everyone that your child has diabetes in an effort to ensure her safety, especially at school. Though your school nurse, teachers and principal need to know, it's up to him or her to tell his or her friends and others.
  • Before spreading the news, ask your child how he or she feels. If he or she is not ready to share, respect his or her decision and help him or her to feel more comfortable about diabetes.
  • If he or she is ready, talk about ways to tell others. Remember to keep it simple and direct. Also prepare him or her for some of the reactions he or she may face.

Reactions and What You Can Prepare Your Child to Say

  • Worried
    Tell them everything is OK. You are managing your diabetes and you can do anything anyone else can.
  • Want to know more
    Teach them about diabetes, the differences between type 1 and type 2, and how you manage your blood glucose.
  • Get scared
    Tell them lots of people live regular lives with type 1 diabetes and that you'll be OK!
  • Think they're going to catch it
    Explain that diabetes is not contagious. You can't catch it like a cold.
  • Think you just ate too much candy
    Explain you don't get diabetes from eating too much sugar. Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease. It's not preventable in anyway.
  • Treat you like you're sick
    Tell them that by managing your blood glucose, you can do anything they can do.
  • Want to help
    Thank them and tell them what to look for in case your blood glucose goes low. You can also encourage them to join you and get involved with the American Diabetes Association to raise funds for a cure, as well as education and advocacy programs that help people with diabetes.
  • Last Reviewed: July 25, 2013
  • Last Edited: October 28, 2013

Articles from Diabetes Forecast® magazine:

Diabetes Forecast