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For Teens & Young Adults

Sharing Responsibility

By in For Teens & Young Adults

As a teenager with type 1 diabetes, you are probably taking more responsibility for your diabetes care as you start to spend time away from home at school events and with friends.

Things you can do on your own:

Teens can usually give their own injections, change their own pump/CGM sites, monitor glucose with a meter, make decisions about food, count carbs, and calculate insulin doses. Some teens, especially if you were newly diagnosed, might still depend on parents or the school nurse for help. If you can demonstrate you have mastered these basic tasks, your parents will feel more confident giving you more independence to spend time away from home on your own. If you need help gaining these skills, ask your diabetes care team for some individualized education or attend diabetes camp or a diabetes conference where you will have the opportunity to build skills and confidence.

Things you can do in partnership with your parents:

Younger teens can work with their parents to gain the above skills as well as the following:

  • Learn how to upload your diabetes devices so you can review your data.
  • Create an account in your patient portal so you can communicate directly with your diabetes care team. Meet weekly to review blood glucose data patterns to identify needed changes.
  • Make sure you know how to monitor for ketones and when to call for help if ketones are detected.

Older teens can partner with their parents to:

  • Learn more about setting up clinic visits and ordering prescriptions
  • Planning transition to care with an adult endocrinologist
  • Understanding healthcare coverage and cost
  • Knowing your rights as a student with diabetes and a person in the workplace with diabetes

Keep in mind that every teen-parent relationship is different. Try to keep an open line of communication with your parents about diabetes. Never underestimate how good it might feel to know your parent/caregiver is in your corner.

Updated 5/30/20

This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.


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