We recently completed my son’s 7 ½ year visit. My son is happy to go to TEDDY each time because he likes playing on the Kindle Fire, getting a prize, and receiving the TEDDY money. I also think he likes coming to my work, seeing my office, and meeting with Kim. When I asked him to draw something about TEDDY he remembered the new slime with bugs from his most recent visit. He asked to have his visit early because he was saving up for his first large purchase and some of the TEDDY money helped him reach the full amount. He saved money from two TEDDY visits, worked extra chores, and helped on several house projects to earn enough money for a new Star Wars Lego. He and I both have a special connection with TEDDY so I was happy the TEDDY money helped him buy the Lego set he later built with my brother.
Though the prizes are fun and the money is awesome, my son at 7 still does not quite understand why he participates in TEDDY. I have tried explaining diabetes to him and his risk, using tools like the Junior Scientist book, but I believe this is a difficult concept to understand for a child of his age who does not know anyone with type 1 diabetes. I hope to continue the conversation using the books and videos TEDDY has developed so when he’s older he can understand why he is in TEDDY and how he and other children are helping scientists discover the causes of type 1 diabetes.