The cognitive development of children with either early or late onset insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) was investigated with tasks measuring intellectual ability, memory, and academic progress. In addition, children's perceptions of their competence and parents' perspectives on family functioning and their children's behavior were compared. It was found that children with IDDM scored within the normal range on standardized measures of intelligence and academic performance but evidenced some school difficulties, as reflected in subscale performance as well as in their need of remedial education services. Further, evidence was found to suggest deficiencies in children's use of strategies to organize and recall information, particularly for those with early onset of disease. Children's perceived self-competencies and parents' reports of family functioning were strikingly similar across groups. However, parents of those children whose illness began prior to age 5 reported their children to have poor attention spans and difficulty completing tasks.