Diabetes Transition Care Resources
When your child is ready for more independence with monitoring her diabetes, you can make the transition smoother by getting her the support she needs. First and foremost: Don't go it alone! Diabetes transition care should not happen in a vacuum. You and your child can be well-supported by the diabetes community.
Your Current Diabetes Treatment Team
Your best resource in transition care is going to be your pediatric endocrinologist and your current diabetes treatment team. Get them on board early with helping you and your child make a successful transition. For instance, they will be able to recommend an adult endocrinologist (or a primary care doctor with a lot of diabetes experience, if you do not have an adult endocrinologist in your area).
Also, your diabetes treatment team will be able to work with you in getting your child to take a more active role in his or her care. The doctor can, for instance, start addressing more questions to your child (than to you) during appointments. Even something as small as asking, “How have your levels been?” can be empowering for your child.
The American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is a wealth of knowledge and resources. They have many community programs you can check out on the ADA website.
Online Diabetes Transition Resources
There are also plenty of online resources to help you connect and get the tools you need for transition:
- The National Diabetes Education Program created transition resources specifically for people with diabetes.
- The University of Florida offers a downloadable workbook for you and your family to guide the transition process.
- The Endocrine Society has put together transition resources for practitioners. While obviously not aimed at families, it is helpful to see what your doctor and diabetes treatment team may be considering as part of the transition plan.
- The University of Washington has a website just about transition care for adolescents. It is not specifically focused on type 1 diabetes, but you will find excellent information here.
Transition Care Works Best in Community
Good transition care in diabetes does take a lot of work—coaching and encouraging your child, checking in but not nagging, letting go of certain responsibilities, and making sure your diabetes treatment team is on board.
Here’s the key, though: If everyone works together—and starts early—you can ensure an easier transition for your child. You can make sure that he or she has the tools, desire, and understanding to stay on top of diabetes management throughout life. You have always played an important role in your child’s diabetes treatment, and passing on the baton is one of the best things you can do.