This study assesses the emotional and educational status of a group of diabetic children and considers the interaction of these measurements with diabetic control. Information was collected on 76 diabetic children (43 boys and 33 girls) by means of interviews at their clinic and two questionnaires, including the Rutter B2 behavioural scale, which were completed by their schools. This information was compared with estimates of diabetic control. The mean age of these children was 10.9 years and their mean duration of diabetes 3.5 years. Information was also obtained, by means of a questionnaire completed by teachers, on a group of nondiabetic children. Psychiatric disorder was not more common in the diabetic children than in the controls, but diabetic children were more backward at reading. 20 diabetic children were at least two years behind and 6 were between one and two years behind with reading. The figures for the nondiabetic children were 10 and 1 respectively. There was a correlation between poor diabetic control and the presence of psychiatric disorder, and backwardness in reading. In 39% of diabetic children there were adverse psychosocial factors in the family background. Poor diabetic control correlated with the presence of adverse psychosocial factors. In any serious attempt at achieving diabetic control in children, attention to insulin and diet must not be divorced from attention to the domestic, scholastic, and emotional problems of the child.
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