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!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

School Choice Agony Again

With public school being out for our Caroline in our district (much too rough) we are looking at the fall again and trying to decided if we should keep her at the private school she is at (doing fine academically, but hates it socially), or if we move her. But if we move her, what other private school would that be, or do we look at homeschooling her with a lot of extra help (core classes taught by someone else?) There is a university model school about 15 minutes away, and I visited it today, loved it, think it would be perfect, but the application says they do not accept kids with "behavioral" problems. Thing is, she doesn't have behavioral problems at school, the teachers love her. She only has issues at home with her sisters. Do I try to apply? Should I call and ask? I am totally unsure. I am interested in trying to get my three youngest on one school schedule because this year I am juggling three different school schedules and homeschooling the other, which has been hard. I just don't know what is best, and what we can afford too. I really need lots of wisdom and to move beyond fear.


asplashofsunshine said...

YES, call and ask them to send you information without offering information of your own yet. Allow them to elaborate on what they mean by "behavioral" problems/issues. This way, hopefully you can get your ducks in a row and prove to them that Caroline will be a good fit at their school with teacher and psych input. Good luck!

Anna said...

I would consider confiding in the principal. If the pricipal backs you up she has a great chance to succeed. The principal can match her with a teacher who is suitable.

If the pricipal bulks she did not have a chance there. The principal and the teacher are the most important players in my opinion.

Hartley said...

I can relate to not knowing what to say to the school -- Gabriel is an angel at school and horrid at home. I hear that is common with BP kids (??), but it sure is hard to explain. I always feel like if I am not honest with schools/staff, then it is like I am *hiding* something, which seems in the long run like I am doing Gabe a disservice. Ugh.

Good luck --

Camille said...

Have you considered virtual school? I don't know if it's available in your state, but it might be worth looking into. I'm a teacher, and it's something I was going to look into with my daughter, but her meds have her stable for now.

lpritzker said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog. Our stories are very similar-- my son, 10, was discharged from Meridell a month ago. My blog:


marythemom said...

I agree with the other posters. By all means apply and talk to the principal in private. I'd downplay the behavior issues (as some "common symptoms of her disorder" if you choose to mention BP at all).

Mary in TX

Camille said...

As a classroom teacher and mother of a BP child, I would recommend being very straight forward with the principal and ask to meet with the special ed director. Not all special ed teachers have specialized knowledge of BP, as I had to help educate my daughter's teacher this year. The more they know, the more helpful the staff can be. I also talked with some of her other classroom teachers and they appreciate knowing what to expect. Suprises are usually hard to deal with. My daughter's sped teacher and I email back and forth about how her days go. I always inform the teacher of any med changes so she's knows to be aware. My daughter has a back-up plan to go to the counselor's office to regain control, if that's an issue. Best of luck!