About our Daughter

I am mother to four wonderful daughters, ages 13, 16, 17 and 20, 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. She is in the very challenging teen years, and she is attempting a big public high school for the first time. In spite of the trials, she enjoys lacrosse, running, 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, January 27, 2011

The Season of Educational Decisions

This time every year is the time when we embark on the "what school situation will be be trying out for Caroline next fall" adventure.  But choosing a school involves decisions about her two younger sisters as well.  We may homeschool Caroline and Jane again, but I don't think I want to homeschool Mae at all.  Been there, tried it, and it was nigh to impossible.  She is highly strong-willed and very ADHD so that every second spent homeschooling was a huge battle to get her to do her work.  I nearly killed her by the end of one month before I cried uncle and put her back in private school.  So that is out.  I really want all three girls to be going to the same school, having the same schedule which would make our lives a whole lot simpler.  The oldest Elizabeth will be in college so she will be out of the picture.  I just don't know what school would meet all of the needs of all three of my kids, between Caroline's bipolar disorder and learning disabilities (dyslexia and non-verbal learning disorder) and Emma's need for a small classroom too, and of course affordability is always an issue, even more with my husband out of work.  Maybe I just need to go to work full-time and put them all in private school (the public schools in our district are out for so many reasons after trying them.)  Ugh, I hate all of the self-doubt and uncertainty!! I wish we could move to a better school district!!  I wish that Mae and Caroline were "normal" and could handle any school environment like Elizabeth and Jane!  Why does life have to be so stinking complicated all of the time??!!

Just venting.  I know many of you share these struggles, when the free public school seems to lack what your kid needs, even with the promise of an IEP and support, frequently not delivered, and the private schools are too expensive or don't want your bipolar kid, even if they are stable.  Aaaargghh!  Life just seems unfair sometimes.  I am envious of my friends for whom education is just such an easy decision, and often free!  

We have switched math programs mid-year for Caroline, from Teaching Textbooks, which Jane loves and so do I, to Saxon, not on the computer, because Caroline is too easily distracted by listening to music on the computer while attempting math problems.  Doesn't work for her at all.  She is behind in Algebra so we are playing catch-up right now.  I know she will catch-up because we can double up the lessons but it is too bad that she wasted so much time in the fall instead of doing her lessons!!  

How I long for spring right now!  The grey days, the rain, the cold just makes us all want to hibernate.  I need the sun!!!  And a good run too!

3 comments:

NikDuck said...

We are in a similar situation with Natalie about her going to kindergarten at a Christian school (you know which one) in the fall and how the school will care for her with diabetes. I'd appreciate your prayers...we have a meeting this afternoon with the school.

Megan said...

I will pray!! Thanks for sharing!

Anna said...

I have a friend who was able to piece together a combination of home instruction and in school instruction at the public school for her son who had chronic fatigue. The school sent instructors to her home. Public schools are required to provide home instruction for students who are totally or sometimes partially confined to home due to illness.


Maybe you could get some partial relief this way or through those coalitions of homeschoolers.

Good luck Megan.