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For Parents - Diabetes Australia
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Information For Parents

Transition: what is it?  

Transition is a patient’s transfer from paediatric (child) health care to adult health care.  It can commence anywhere in between the ages of 12-20 and in some cases occurs as late as in their 20s.  

This process can take years; it all depends on your child’s individual circumstances and who their health care providers are.

Why is it important?  

Successful transition is seen as vital to the long term wellbeing of young adults living with a chronic illness.  Transition of diabetes care comes at a time of increased developmental and lifestyle changes and should be regarded as just one of a number of life transitions a young adult makes -  like moving out of home or moving from school to Uni or TAFE. 

Sometime young adults don’t like where they have been transferred to or feel that they do not receive adequate support during the transition process and will drop out of the healthcare system, only to return with severe and often preventable diabetes related complications.  Connection, education and information are key ingredients to minimising risk of long term diabetes complications.

Things parents will be dealing with at this time:  Letting go

Parents/carers have the task of balancing the level of responsibility that young people start to take during their teenage years with their own needs and desire to offer support and assistance to their child.  This delicate balance of offering enough support and, at the same time, enough freedom to learn, sometimes results in tension and anxiety with your teenager that can be difficult to work through.  

It is common to feel confused about how to handle these changing needs.  Fluctuations will occur in the level of guidance and freedom young people need from their support network.  Communication is the key to working through these changes.  For further information and guidance consult your child’s paediatric or adult diabetes health service.

Birthday Cards and Parent/Carers Letters 

  • A birthday card will be sent to every NDSS Registrant aged 12 to 20 each year on their birthday, from age 12 to 20.
  • A series of letters will be sent to parents/carers of all NDSS Registrants at the time of the NDSS Registrant’s birthday, every year from age 12 to 18.  

Why are we sending this information?

  • To remind young people and their parents to continue to think about diabetes care as the young person matures through adolescence. 
  • To help maintain the teenager’s and parents’ connection with a diabetes health team as the teenager leaves paediatric services and moves into adult services.
  • To nurture the development of greater independence in managing diabetes health care needs by teenagers.
  • To provide parents with information about how to encourage independence in their teenager and how to support their teenager’s engagement with their diabetes health team as they move into adult health care.

In 2013 a survey was conducted amongst young people with diabetes (aged 12 - 20 years), their parents and health professionals in this area. The aim of this survey was to assess the value of the birthday card and letter program and to explore how it may be improved. Thank you to all of you who took part in this survey.

The results of this survey are available here.

What do I do when things feel out of control?

Your local state or territory diabetes organisation will be able to provide you with details of peer support groups for young people in your state.

Talk to someone

Parent line State numbers:
Parent line ACT  6287 3833
Parent line VIC  13 22 89
Parent line NSW  1300 1300 52
Parent line NT & Qld  1300 30 1300
Parent line SA  1300 364 100
Parent line WA  1800 654 432