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!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Neurofeedback Therapy

Just a note for those who are interested: we have tried neurofeedback therapy with our youngest child who has severe ADHD. The way neurofeedback works is that electrodes are place on the head which run to a computer that allows the child to literally play video games with their EEG brain waves. When the child used the "good" brain waves (calm, happy, positive), they can control the game and do well. If they are using "bad" brainwaves (anxiety, stress, anger) the game won't work. I observed this and it is really true. This therapy is covered by some health insurance and costs about the same as regular psychotherapy sessions. If your child is presently seeing a psychologist who does not do neurofeedback therapy, and you want to try it with a psychologist who does, you would have to switch temporarily until the feedback therapy is finished (something like three months or so) because most health insurance will not cover both types of therapy at the same time. We had to do the temporary switch. I would say we were starting to see differences with Mae (even with her stuttering, which has improved a lot), but her therapy was interrupted by Caroline's setbacks a few years ago, so we didn't finish it. I would like to restart it this summer.

As far as bipolar kids, I was told by Mae's therapist at Dr. Parker, Schlichter and Associates that it doesn't work very well for bipolar disorder. However Dr. Parker's neurofeedback website says that it can be used for bipolar disorder. I will have to ask him about that.

I have placed a link to our psychiatrist's neurofeedback information, and obviously there are many across the country, but I liked the explanation on this website about the therapy and which disorders it can help.

5 comments:

revisedfully said...

Megan, our son participated in neurofeedback since age 5 and it has been helpful to him--he has BP I. He helped him learn how to relax his brain. Like any type of therapy he has gained the most from it when he's stable. I was already planning to post about it in the next week or so. If anything it can give the provider information about what is going on in your daughter's brain. Did they do a QEEG first to determine the protocols?

Kind Regards,
revised

Anna said...

You seem to have attained the cutting edge of treatments for your children. i admire you for that.

Megan said...

I am very encouraged that your son was helped by the neurofeedback. Maybe I will try it with Caroline, but especially with Mae who seems to have major explosivity/ADHD but not bipolar. Thanks!

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

I think it is in the realm of, it won't hurt. If nothing else happens and it is a total bomb and useless, at least it has not hurt anyone. Just maybe wasted some time. JMO

Ien in the Kootenays said...

Are you familiar with the work of Dr. Phil Bate? Same results as neurofeedback, but with no effort and for a fraction of the price. http://drbate.com