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What are some things we can do to help our 11 year old toward giving himself his own injections? He was diagnosed at 14 months, and we have been the "shot-givers" ever since. I suspect there's some comfort in his mind that we're involved at that level (no pun intended). We've talked about it, cajoled, offered help and support by way of our local area group, tried some good old operant conditioning with rewards of his choice, and even tried the "Inject-Ease" system so he doesn't have to deal with the actual plunge. He'll be going to 6th grade outdoor school for a week, and we're hoping that the independent experience may cause him to want to go to the ADA Camp this summer. I have the sense that one successful self-injection would be all it takes to get him on his way - he's good at blood testing and drawing up his own insulin.

There's another reason for this request - he has a 3 year old sister who was diagnosed 2 years ago. Since she copies everything her brother does, I know she'd be light years ahead with her own independent care when the time comes.

To tell the truth, we had thought your eleven-year old son had outfoxed you on getting his own way: lots of attention from your cajoling! Especially when his younger sister is getting lots of attention with her diabetes!

But, since three year-olds are good at one-upping older siblings, you've still got an ace up your sleeve: using the Inject-Ease that you've got, have her push the release lever, and "give her own shot." It won't be long till your son decides that he, too, can do it himself.

As we mentioned in an earlier answer, kids who use the Inject-Ease sometimes decide to go ahead and give their own shots without it after a while, but it's no harm if they choose to use it indefinitely.

And diabetes camp is a "must" for your son: he'll have a great time, and see what other kids his age are doing.

Original posting 18 Mar 96


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