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, July 27, 2010

Homeschooling Dilemma

I have homeschooled quite a bit over the last eleven years or so. I know a lot about curriculums. Right now I am having a hard time deciding what would be best for Caroline. She is so addicted to typing her novel on the computer that I am reconsidering having her do an online curriculum like K12 or Monarch because I am not sure I could trust her to do her school work and not be tempted to sneak more chapters into her book. She does love to read great books, so I am leaning toward using Sonlight at least for the literature and history. I don't love their language arts and writing program, which is based on the literature, so I checked out other curriculums like Alpha Omega, Greenleaf Press, Veritas Press, Abeka, and others, but it is very hard to find something as interesting and exciting as Sonlight. I may just have to pull together my own curriculum by piece meal.

I am doing all of this with fear and trepidation. Homeschooling seems so ideal in theory for bipolar kids, but I have not had the greatest experience with Caroline in the past. But she is more stable than she has ever been (always a relative thing) so maybe this time would be different. Maybe not. I just wish we could know where my husband is going to land a job, soon! His old job has ended and the search begins in earnest. Colorado is looking mighty good right now. But we really have no idea where we will land. Every now and then panic rises up in my throat from beneath the surface, but I kind of push it away, knowing that panic and fear never solve anything. God is in control and He has a plan. Just wish we could text Him and get an instant answer!


Fighting for my Children said...

Good luck to your husband on getting a job. I will pray for him to get the right job and one that will provide for your family. Good luck with homeschooling Caroline. I hope everything works out for you and your family.

Heather said...

Hey-- an aside to my questions about Meridell -- I am set to do K12 with my son. I have heard great things, and am glad all the work has been done, as far as curriculum. Anyway-- I like the Charlotte Mason philosophy as well, and that is what I would do if this doesn't work--- just am idea.
Homeschooling gives me cold sweats...

bjmom said...

Hi there Megan,
I stumbled across your blog when I was looking for info. on Intuniv. I have never read or done a blog before but after reading your March 19, 2009 blog about your daughter I had to write you. I cried when you said that your other daughter was afraid of Caroline. I have the same situation and it hit me hard. My 14 year old daughter is afraid of my ten year old daughter too. My 10 year old daughter has been seeing different medical professionals over the last 4 years for tendecies of bipolar, OCD, oppositional defiance diorder, anger, mood swings, blah, blah, blah.. Recently, her psychiatrist made it official that she has bipolar, OCD, ADHD, and oppositional defiance disorder. Well, at that same time he hightly recommended an outpatient intensive treatment program for her that is M-F 8-3 for two weeks and then two days a week from 3-6 for 4-6 weeks. This being recommended after my daughter pushed her 14 year old sister into the stove and left two large red marks on her back. Though my 14 year old has stated that she was afraid before this was the first time she had that look of concern and true fear in her eyes. It was then that I knew that I had to find something more aggressive to address the violence that was consuming our home. I was quite hopeless initially when it happened being that I have literally done everything a mom can do- meds,counseling, behavior modification, gluten free diet, natural supplements,etc. So as of today my 10 year old is attending her third day at the treatment center. They are doing a med evaluation, family history,... you know the process. The psychiatrist at the treatment center had me read a book on the autistic spectrum which has really been a waste of time but I am now more educated about it I guess. My nephew has Aspergers and my daughter has no symptoms of the whole autistic/asperger spectrum other than having a hard time with change. So I hope they don't go down any unnecessary rabbit trails. They are trying to convince me that she doesn't have OCD because she doesn't wash her hands all the time or isn't obsessed with germs...whatever. As you know, you don't have to have every symtom to have a disorder. Have you ever had this happen to you where they wanted to discredit the bipolar or whatever just because Caroline didn't have one symtom? They are talking about hospitalization and my husband is completely against the idea becuase she is ten. But she won't exhibit the anger in a happy, friendly, fun environment and they want to observe it through 24 hour care. What do you think? Wow, I have said enough. By the way, I homeschool too. I have been doing it for 15 years. I am also a christian and loved your comment about how you wish you could just text God for an answer. Aint that the truth.

Megan said...

Hello BJ Mom, I am so glad you found my blog. YOur daughter sounds so much like mine. As scary as the thought is about putting your child in a psych hospital for acute care, sometimes it is the BEST thing for everyone. Which hospital is very important. We had a nightmare experience with the local psych hospital and vowed never to take her there again. WE found one about an hour and a half away that was so much better and we will always take her there from now on. Do your research now and ask other parents locally about their hospital experiences. Not every hospital is on the cutting edge of treatment. If your daughter becomes out of control, harming others and threatening to harm her self, you really have to take her. The risk of not taking her are too great. We know. The OCD thing may be the tunnel vision aspect of bipolar disorder, where they get an idea and they absolutely must carry it out NOW or they act like they will die. It is like OCD, but more dramatic. Homeschooling seems ideal for our kids doesn't it? I so pray that it would go well this time. School can be so cruel for these fragile kids. Blessings on you, your family, and your daughter!!