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!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Learning Rx

I am looking into this company called Learning Rx that provides "brain-training" to kids and adults who suffer from ADHD, learning disabilities, autism, and really just about any mental challenge.  They claim to be able to train an individuals brain in the weakest cognitive areas and improve learning skills.  They are not like Sylvan or a homework help, but primarily a therapy center.  Sounds good.  I will look into this for both Caroline and Mae.  I have a link at the right under Great Resources.


mich said...

I also looked into this after your post. It sounds great. I learned of another great brain training program this week called Brain Balancehttp://www.brainbalancecenters.com/
Although it sounds more intensive. My son who is ADHD/Aspergers/PANDAS OCD and Tourettes really is struggling with classroom attention and focus. He is on intuniv but it really isn't helping him stay on task. We went up to 4 mg intuniv and he was sleeping everyday in class. On 3 mg he is more alert but still can't do the work independently. With the tutor at school he does much better, in the reg ed class he falls apart. What more suggestions do others have for this issue. He has an IEP and we are working on more accomodations for the ADHD.

thebestname said...

I often read your blog and appreciate the info and sharing your journey.
I just wanted to let you know that we've used a similar program, Brainskills (about $500, online system) for our son (ASD,OCD, dylexia and possibly bipolar). It was an extremely difficult experience. I homeschool as well so we incorperated it into our day...which meant that we had 10x the amount of meltdowns and screaming sessions than we already do! It is very uncomfortable and frustrating for anyone to work on an area of processing that is weak. For our kids it is impossible for them to handle calmly, that degree of discomfort and frustration. Now, that said, we did see a lot of improvements in his logical reasoning, in his reading skills and ability to focus. It was a very hard way to make those gains though, and if you are already at the end of your rope you might consider waiting until you have more emotional resources to cope with the fallout.
For Mich, do they use a picture schedule in your son's classroom to help him to stay on task? It helps my son a lot. Also headphones to block out the classroom sound is helpful for some kids. I also found that setting a timer and in a fun way, encouraging him to beat the timer motivated him...well, it did Friday, we'll see if still does on Monday! By the way, did you ever get any Doctor to acknowledge that your son's OCD was caused by PANDAS? I know that my son's OCD and tourettes were triggered by a strep infection but no DR will look into it because of his autism diagnosis. Have you found anything besides antibiotics that has helped?

Megan said...

Thank you so much for this insight! I really appreciate it when readers offer some good office about something I am not as familiar with. I know that I would never attempt to do these brain exercises with Caroline myself. She bucks me so much anyway, so if I couldn't afford to pay someone else to do it then I wouldn't do it at all. Also, I am thinking that a child would have to be pretty stable for it to be successful. Thanks again!

thebestname said...

Oh dear, I sounded rather miserable and bossy in my last comment...sorry...rough day :)

Megan said...

Please don't apologize! You were perfectly fine. I always appreciate other people's experiences because we all can learn from them!