About our Daughter

I am mother to four wonderful daughters, ages 17, 19, 21, and 23, and wife to the greatest husband on earth. God has given us a special child to raise one who was diagnosed with early-onset bipolar disorder at the age of seven, though she showed signs of it from the age of fifteen months. She also has ADHD, Sensory Integration Disorder (sensory seeking), Dyslexia, and Non-Verbal Learning Disorder-NOS, all typical comorbidities for a bipolar child. In spite of the trials, she enjoys lacrosse, running (finished her first marathon in October of 2014!), and reading and writing her own books. I will share with you the many joys and sorrows we have faced and will face in the future with the hope that you may find better understanding about this mental illness caused by both chemical and structural abnormalities in the brain. I desire that you will be encouraged by this blog if you are also dealing with a bipolar child. Thank you for reading and sharing in our journey.

How Did You Know She Was Bipolar So Young?

I wrote a long explanation of how we came to this bipolar diagnosis in a child so young under my post of March 19th of 2009. If your child or a child you know bears similarities, please seek out a good psychiatrist and don't wait for "things to get better." Often they will simply get worse, and the longer a child is unmedicated, the more damage their brain can accrue. Early diagnoses and treatment are key to providing these children with a chance at a successful life later as a teen and an adult.
Never change, start or stop a medication without the approval of your child's physician!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

School Troubles

I wish I could say that everything at Caroline's school is simply wonderful, and that every day is smooth sailing. Unfortunately, that is not the case, and of course not realistic, although we always hope for the best. She likes her private school a lot, as do we, and her teachers love her. Well, four out of five of her teachers love her. We are having issues with her Spanish teacher, who seems to be a very bright young woman, from Spain, who speaks several languages, and can't be older than 25. I am remembering that just because you are good with languages doesn't make you a good teacher of a foreign language. Her assignments are completely frustrating to Caroline, and the rest of the class, because she is moving entirely too fast for a first year Spanish class and assigns work that is just too hard given their abilities. I know, because I myself took several foreign languages in high school and college, gaining proficiency in one and fluency in another. To top it off, there are a shortage of Spanish textbooks, so my daughter didn't receive one, which I only found out last week. They are on order, I have been told, but no wonder she is doing poorly! That news really irked me.

Also, the two other girls in her class have decided to be really mean towards Caroline, why, I am not sure, except that they are probably very insecure. Caroline has received a lot of attention for her academic and athletic abilities there, and she comes from an intact loving home, which neither of them have. The things they are saying to her are just awful, and I think it is time for a conference with her teachers to discuss this growing problem, as well as that of a boy in her class that they keep threatening to expel and don't. He sounds like he is either severely ADHD and unmedicated, or has conduct disorder, and that he isn't getting the help he needs outside of school. I don't know exactly, but Caroline says that when he is in school, he is so disruptive it brings her to tears, and that when he is absent, the whole class is relaxed and productive. I know what it is like to have a child that a school doesn't feel is a "good fit" and suggests you find another place, so I am somewhat sympathetic to the parents. But he is obviously not changing his behaviors and disrespectfulness. We have finally found a great school for our daughter, and if he is going to ruin it every day, something must be done. I think that he needs special services that this school can't provide. When you are paying money for your kid's education, you want to know that you are getting your money's worth.

Anyway, I am venting but I need to act on my frustration by picking up the phone and asking for a conference. I did send a letter to her Spanish teacher explaining Caroline's, and our, frustrations with the class and asked to discuss it further, but I want to talk to the principal about this too.


Cinda said...

Caroline is so lucky to have an advocate in her corner and one from whom she can learn the skills needed as she moves into adulthood. Sounds like the Spanish teacher has a need for more skills than merely teaching a language! Classroom management, anti-bullying, behavior management. Unfortunately, as you know, teachers are hired because they have the skill they are teaching but not the "teaching" skills. I say, "ARGH!" Good luck!

Meg said...

Megan- What has happened with this class? Were you able to get any help or adjustments for your daughter?

Amy said...

Hi Megan,
I wanted to ask you a couple of more questions if I could... first, did you notice a change in Mae's behavior immediately after starting the intuniv 1 mg. or did it take until you got to the 4 mg.? McKenzie's behavior seems to have worsen definitely not gotten any better. Also, is or has Caroline been verbally abusive to you? And if and when she does how do you handle it? Consequences don't work for Kenzie and we are now taking privileges away which is just another way of saying consequences in my opinion. They help sometimes but more often not. Any advice would be great. We need family therapy and are in kind of a holding place because we still need to get her meds. stabilized and we are waiting on insurance to get her to Meridell. Hopefully, she will be there in Jan. But I am thankful I have someone who understands and I can ask questions to. Amy

Cinda said...

How is it going? I hope that all is well with you and yours! Cinda

Megan said...

Regarding the Spanish teacher, I wrote her a letter and spoke to her on the phone. She denied telling the kids they had to have the song memorized in two days, but apparently that is what all of the kids understood. Caroline finally got a textbook too!!