About our Daughter

I am mother to four wonderful daughters, ages 13, 16, 17 and 20, 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. She is in the very challenging teen years, and she is attempting a big public high school for the first time. In spite of the trials, she enjoys lacrosse, running, 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!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Summer Camps for Bipolar Kids

I have been researching on the internet and through the CABF online support group for summer camps specializing in bipolar kids. There aren't a lot of camps out there that are therapeutic, not the tough-love, wilderness camps types for juvenile delinquents, but I found a couple of good ones. I have listed them under Great Resources below with the links. We may send Caroline to one of them this summer. Two of them are definitely geared toward bipolar kids and teens, and the other is for any exceptional child who is stable, but it looks like bipolar disorder would not be foreign to the staffers.

12 comments:

Anna said...

This looks like a great idea. Camp is a good place to make friends.

Thanks for your recent comments on my blog.

Mark said...

Meagan, I cant find the camp links on your site...can you re-post them? Or send an email to markapilot@gmail.com we are looking for such a camp for our bipolar daughter who is 9. Thank you, Mark

Andrea said...

me again, we've done some things with ClubExcite that you listed. THeir founder, Stefan, is awesome and has met a real need in the community. YL Capernaum has camps, as you know. Talisman in NC?

Amy said...

Hi, I'm going to become a follower of your blog. My 15yr old daughter was just dx'd with dipolar tonight, and I'm feeling pretty shocked and lost at the moment. I found your blog surfing the internet looking for information on bipolar teens.
Amy

Jennifer said...

Did you send your daughter to summer camp? I have a 15 year old son with bipolar and I have been looking for programs to keep him occupied during the summer. I couldn't find the list that you mentioned.

Jennifer said...

Did you send your daughter to summer camp? How did it go? I have a 15 year old son with bipolar and I am looking for ways to keep him occupied this summer. I couldn't find the list of camps that you mentioned in your blog.

jodi said...

A great idea. Looking for a camp for my 12 yo daughter to keep her busy and with some kind of structure. She was diagnosed at 4. We have been fortunate enough to have had a great doctor since then. We moved and did not have success with drs in a big city so now we drive 4 hrs to our dr because this is our security. The dr in the city messed my daughters meds up so after 8 yrs of getting straight (which is always a constant battle) we are back to square one with regulating meds. Be careful with drs. It is sad that more people dont understand this horrible disease.

greenfieldmm said...

I have a son that is bipolar and adhd. I can not find any camp or boarding type schools that can help without have the money to do with. Right now I have taken fmla to come back home to help him. I can not afford what they cost and taking a finanial aid loan is not possible without having an income right now. If anyone know of any place or helpline please email me at greenfieldmm@hotmail.com. At this point any advice and help would be great.

Anonymous said...

i want to thank you for offering help. many families struggle with a child with early onset bipolar and most would not understand the challeges you face. My son was diagnosed at seven and struggled with getting his meds right ever since. Althought he has been stablilzed for now. I have struggled for years trying to find programs to help him cope. any information will help if not me then someone who needs it. also try NAMI. Its the national allaince for mental illiness and has helped me alot over the years

Anonymous said...

I'm very glad I happened upon this blog while in search of a summer camp for my 15 yr old son who may be bipolar. Certainly he has a major depression with suicidal ideation and mega anxiety. We are on our 13th doctor since age 5 when he first started talking about killing himself. This Dr is the best and has lead us out of the dangerous swamp of idiot Drs. I've joined NAMI's educational workshop & support group which helps a lot. My son's Dr recently told the high school guidance counselor that one of the accommodations on the 504 plan should be summer camp or work of some type. It turns out he can work as an IT (in training) assistant, helping out with the summer enrichment program. First year he gets community service hours and second year he'll get paid. His dad and I (divorced)will give him a set amount of money each week for his efforts. So maybe asking at your son or daughter's school might be a starting place. We could never do an away camp right now (medically or financially)- maybe by the end of high school if things are stable. We are at the tail end of medication changes that started in mid-Feb 2013. It is a wait and see type of thing, dragging on and lots of missed days of school. Finding support for yourself and a good Dr. for your ill loved one are the most important things. All the communications I've been reading on this sight are helpful and supportive. We are here for each other. Be gentle on yourself...xoLiz

Anonymous said...

Looking for a good summer camp near Chicago my 10 year daughter has bipolar and its been hard trying to find right meds after two years meds not working she doesn't follow any direction screams slam doors flying off handle over anything you ask her to did.

amber wallen said...

Hello,

My daughter is 12 and has bi-polar, adhd, and a defiant disorder. I find it so hard at times because we also have a 15 yr old son, and I have 2 step daughters 10 and 5. I feel like all my attention is focused on her and I ignore the rest. I am so worried about how I am going to make it through the teenage years. I feel like I am a bad mother, because I just get so frustrated sometimes at her.

Thank you, Amber Wallen
girlyin36@gmail.com