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, December 28, 2010

Social Skills

I think one of the biggest areas that Caroline must really work on is her social skills.  When she enters any conversation, she immediately tells larger than life stories about her accomplishments, and seems very focused on herself.  She doesn't seem to get the give and take of chatting.  Tomorrow when she sees her therapist we will be talking about how we can practice this skill in her office and at home so that when she is in a social situation she doesn't turn people off with her tall tales and non-stop monologue.  I know this is part of the disorder, but I think it can be worked on and improved.  I worry that if we don't help her with this now, she will carry it into adulthood and never be able to have a real conversation with people.  Sometimes this reminds me of Aspergers and I can see how she could be borderline.

6 comments:

Kelly said...

that is something that concerns me with my daughter as well. she doesn't seem to understand the concept of not interrupting with questions about the conversation (that doesn't usually involve her). it is so important to help our kids learn good social skills and cues now so that as an adult people don't groan when they walk into a room. let us know if you come up with some good ideas about how to achieve this.

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

I know what you mean! My daughter has terrible social skills, and whenever we try to work with her on it we hit the brick wall. They are going to try to do some things at her school but, we'll see.

Accidental Expert said...

There is so much overlap between Asperger's and Bipolar, its so hard to tell sometimes. I also know that sometimes they go hand in hand. We're actually thinking that our daughter may be on the spectrum somewhere too. But girls present so differently than boys so sometimes its harder to see.

Jennifer said...

I see that in Elizabeth as well. Not so much tall tales, but constant talking and often about herself.

Hartley said...

Megan,

For kiddos like ours it is the 'reciprocal' conversation - Knowing when to ask questions, to stay on the topic another has choosen, and to participate in the give and take that is usually lacking.

This is huge for us.

If it makes you feel better though, my son's opening line when he really wants to impress someone is, "Do you know about the Gluten Free diet?" Yeah, no 10 year old boys are into that. And, for the record, we are NOT Gluten free here. LOL

There are MANY social skills groups in most areas, it might be a good idea to put her through formal classes. Gabe did it, and it was wonderful for him. :)

Hartley
www.hartleysboys.com

jenw said...

Michele Garcia Winner has some wonderful social skill materials - her website www.socialthinking.com also has links to providers.