Son with Autism and now T1D

Hello everyone! I am a mother desperately seeking support not only for myself but mainly for my son. He is 13 years old and was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in June. Since then he has become very depressed and at times tearful. And my heart breaks for him. We are in the middle of this COVID pandemic, he cannot see his friends, he misses school, and now he has to take insulin shots all the time. On top of all that, he has autism. I just need some help/support and my son needs someone he can talk to about all of this. I know a counselor would be good for him but finding a counselor with experience in talking to autistic children that takes insurance is just about nonexistent. I am doing the best I can but honestly I can not understand what this must be like for my baby. And as a mother, I just want to support my son any way I can but right now I just do not know what more I can do.
Are there support groups for teens that could give my son the encouragement and support he needs?


@txsunflowers. Angela, first, welcome to type ONE nation. You are doing right to reach out. There are support groups. JDRF has chapters in many parts of the USA. Check out the JDRF website.

On the issue of counselors, does your son’s diabetes doctor have any local recommendations? The next idea for help is the CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) in the doc’s office. Third brain storm idea is your son’s school. Three positions come to mind a) the school nurse (who will be involved when school reopens), b) the school IEP & 504 specialist (I believe your son’s plan will need significant updates with insulin involvement), and c) the school psychologist or guidance counselor.

Angela, you are being a great mom seeking to be your son’s advocate. Kudos! Reach out to a local JDRF chapter. Check back here regularly. Share what you learn. Sharing, positive and negative, will help all of us learn. Diabetes is crazy, we must think outside the box to stay ahead of this.

Thank you for the reply! I have explored all the avenues you mentioned. I have already had a conversation with the school nurse. I have already informed his case manager at school. I have discussed my concerns with the endocrinologist and the diabetes educator. I wish my son had a friend or peer his age who also has type 1 diabetes that he could talk to. Having autism adds another layer to an already complicating situation. My son is so very sweet and usually gregarious. However, since his diabetes diagnosis, he has been quieter and tearful at the drop of a hat.

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Hi @txsunflowers. So sorry to hear about the challenges you and your son are having. If you do a search for “friends” in the forum you will find people looking to meet others in their age group. People can send private messages to one another (I suggests advise against putting your contact info on the public board) and from there they may share contact info to meet via video call of some kind. It’s not ideal but could work.
Also, depending on how things look next summer, you might look into diabetes camp. I didn’t a few summers or portions theirof when I was growing up and it was a blast. My mother’s best friend’s son is developmentally disabled and has diabetes and he went one year. I know autism is different but the kids embraced him and his needs and he was voted Best Camper during his stay there. Your son could make friends there as well.

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Hi there @txsunflowers! First of all, I want to welcome you to TypeOneNation. I’m so glad you’re here! I know how overwhelming a T1D diagnosis is, and I’m sure you’ll have plenty of questions as time goes on–please always feel free to reach out here.
I’m Abby; I’m 18 years old and I’ve had T1D since I was 7. I remember all too well the adjustment period that followed my own diagnosis; I can only imagine how difficult it would be with the added struggles of autism. I would love to talk to your son and support him in any way I can. While I’m certainly not a trained counselor, I do have several friends on the autism spectrum and I do of course have experience with T1D, so I could provide some emotional support and just let him know that he’s not alone in his struggles. We could be “email pals” or video chat–whatever he’d prefer. In addition, if he’s interested in being added to a group chat for T1D teens, I would be more than happy to do that as well! I’ve created a few different T1D teen chats and I know all of our group members would be so happy to provide support for your son.
Please feel free to pm me so we can exchange contact information. I’m here to help both you and your son in whatever way you are most comfortable with. I look forward to talking to you! :slight_smile:


Abby, I am not sure how to send a private message.

Click on her name and an option will come up to send a PM.

@txsunflowers I am a volunteer moderator here. PM isn’t enabled for your account. I will set your account to allow messaging.

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My daughter, Gailey, is aT1D and has high functioning autism. She states that "I understand that your son could use a friend. I would be happy to be his friend, because I went through the same thing when I was his age. Let her know. Her email is