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Family Copes With Child's Autism, Diabetes Diagnosis

3:02 PM, Aug 9, 2013   |    comments
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Jack Schroeder is autistic child now with Type 1 diabetes

Ransomville, NY - A Niagara County family is now reaching out after learning their child has been diagnosed with the two very serious conditions of autism and Type 1 diabetes. 

Swinging in the backyard with his Dad is one of Jack Schroeder's favorite things to do after a day of school at Summit Education Resources. Mike and Nicole Schroeder make sure they spend plenty of time with their son who was diagnosed with autism at 18 months. But now there is another challenge with another diagnosis of the Type 1 diabetes. As Mike Schroeder puts it "The autism was a lot to deal with at first. Then suddenly...oh my....juvenile diabetes."

About two weeks ago, just before his ninth birthday,  that extremely rare double diagnosis came down for Jack. Nicole Schroeder says "The doctor doesn't treat anybody else, any other child with autism and diabetes right now and there's no one at his school."

So the Schroeders, who also have a three month old baby, must carefully watch every thing Jack does and everything Jack eats because of the Type I diabetes. Mike says "Now everything has to be measured out, everything has to be recorded. We can't miss something because if you don't calculate right it can cause his blood sugar to spike or go down." Nicole adds "Jack can't talk, he can't communicate with us. So if his blood sugar was to go low or very high, he is not able to tell us that he's not feeling well. And it''s concerning."

Their hope for Jack is to find and buy a specially trained diabetic alert service dog which may be just as essential as the blood glucose meter and insulin injection pens they must use to treat  him. Nicole says "Supposedly they're able to smell a low blood sugar which is very dangerous and then they can alert the parents that something is wrong." 

And as they look to the future with Jack there is a certain  realization. Mike Schroeder says "We thought right away..can we handle this? And I guess you're not sure how strong you can be until you have no other choice but to be strong."

First Niagara Bank is accepting donations at any of its branches for the Schroeder family to obtain a service dog for Jack. There is specifically a "Benefit Fund for Jack Schroeder".  They also have   
an on-line donation site at


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