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!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Breathing Easier, School Options

With my oldest daughter starting her senior year on Tuesday, and my youngest daughter already in school, I am breathing easier these days. I am really looking forward to homeschooling Caroline and her younger sister Jane together this fall. I actually really like the control I have over what my kids are learning, being sure that they are reading classic books, moving ahead in math more quickly, and helping them to learn at their own pace. I love history and science and I find that when they learn without all the stressors of being in "school" they are more relaxed and enjoy learning about the world a lot more. I think that is why my kids do things like write their own books and the like because they equate reading and writing with fun instead of drudgery. Homeschooling is not for every mom or every kid, but if it works, it is wonderful. I will be sad when I will finally put away my "teacher" hat someday. Time flies by so quickly, as evidenced by the fact that our oldest will be off to college next year. Wasn't she just five, creating her own "computer" out of a cardboard box? Playing dress up on a daily basis? Begging me to read to her one more toddler book for the hundredth time?

An important note: if you wish to homeschool your bp child, just know that unless they are mostly stable, this may not work well. Find the right med mix first before you try this unless you have no other good options, and then I would say to enlist the help of another "teacher" in the form of a tutor for certain subjects, or enrolling in an online school so you can keep on task as much as possible. And you can stretch school into the summer if you lose a lot of time during the more unstable periods of the fall and spring.


Erin said...

Hi Megan-
I read all your blogs like a novel over this weekend. Thanks so much for sharing your journey- especially for us new to this reality. I honestly feel like I am just really getting my head together about this diagnosis- we started this struggle about 9 months ago with depression. I am wishing you the best of luck with your children's education this year. I know I am very anxious about my daughter starting school Tuesday...

Megan said...

Erin, I am honored you would take the time to read everything. That is quite a lot of reading! I hope your daughter does well this year too. School is such a stressor! I just wrote a note to one of her homeschool coop teachers explaining about her bipolar disorder. That is always a risk. You never know how a teacher will respond.