Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Society Devaluing Children With Type One Diabetes

It's almost been three years since my daughter Madison was diagnosed with type one diabetes. I knew there was going to be challenges in her life, especially with managing her blood glucose levels. But I never imagined the lack of support and understanding by some in society.  This past summer, several people made comments like, "Maybe it's better if she's not in AIG (Academically or Intellectually Gifted Program). This way it is easier;" (easier on who? no matter if she's in AIG or not, her life will never be simply easy) or "If she were my daughter, I wouldn't put her under so much stress by having her in AIG," (first, she wants to be in AIG. second, stress is part of life and she needs to learn to deal with it no matter what age she is.) "Perhaps she should play recreational soccer, instead of competitive soccer because it's less stressful and it's more flexible." (not sure what world this guy lives in, but athletic games and tournaments will always entail some form of stress. and as she gets older, she is going to have to compete for jobs etc.)

I was blown away by their words, specifically the word easier. What about overcoming all odds? What about helping her reach her potential? What about looking at her true ability and being an advocate to help her succeed?

On top of it, this is what she wants and she is willing to deal with the stress that comes with succeeding and achieving her dreams.

Children with type one diabetes should be given the opportunity to succeed and perform their best at whatever they do. If they are smart enough to be in AIG's then create an environment that allows them to do so. If they are talented enough to play competitive soccer, help them make it happen. Especially if that is what they want.

I've never once thought that Madison couldn't do anything she put her mind to, even with having type one diabetes. Yes, it's not going to be as easy as someone who doesn't have her disease. But if she puts her mind to it, I truly believe she and any person living with type one diabetes can accomplish anything they put their mind too. They shouldn't be left out of success, even if it comes with more stress or they have to face competition.

Children with type one diabetes shouldn't be pushed to live an easier, less competitive life. They should be pushed and motivated to be the best at whatever they chose to do. And society should support them in the process.

Please share your stories of where someone suggested that you and / or your child take the easy road.

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