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 12, 2011


I am now counting the days until school starts.  I can't seem to come up with enough for Caroline to do.  She is BORED and with the concussion, she is limited in what she can do.  She is too young to get a job, and too old for most camps.  And we can't afford the camps we want to send her too, like Summit in Pennsylvania for bipolar kids and kids with other special needs (next year, please!)  I felt desperate today to find SOMETHING constructive for her to do that wouldn't break the bank.  She made a lacrosse poster but that only took up about 1 hour in the day.  Sigh.  I wish August held something great for her to look forward too, but by then all the lacrosse camps are done.  Argh! I need a break here!


Cindy said...

I understand. Summers are very hard. My BP daughter suffers from severe anxiety as well. She had a rough school year last year, so although I will be glad when school starts, I am fearful too. The school district has implemented psych counseling for the beginning of the school year, so I am hopeful that 9th grade will be better. She won't participate in much of anything with peers of her own age (church, sports, camp, etc). Any advice would be appreciated.....

Lila said...

We're having the same issue - crutches on top of our usual ocd and anxiety. I got out some pottery clay and ws thrilled with ow long it takes to form a bowl or platter. I'm suggesting coasters, or something easy. It's highly therapeutic!

marythemom said...

We've done volunteer work, this year at our church's vacation bible school, but I've considered contacting other churches to see if they need help (one daughter sat and did crafts with the school age littles, another worked in "theatre" - mostly starting a video and comforting crying preschoolers. There are lots of non-profits that love volunteers (from stuffing envelopes, cleaning kennels at the humane society, to walking next to the horses holding kids on during hippotherapy...). Bible study with neighbor kids (could be a book club too), learning to sew or knit, puzzles, visits to the library, pen pal...

Also check out camps online. We got a list from our local MHMR of all sorts of camps in our area (and farther) that took kids with special needs. Money is tight, but my dd goes to the local MHMR (where she receives services) and attends camp once a week with other teens with MI - it's a social skills camp and they do crafts and yoga and stuff. They have different age groups on other days and she volunteers (she's supervised and feels like she's acoomplishing something, plus she gets along better with the younger kids).


marythemom said...

Arrggh! It ate my comment.

Things to do with a MI teen:
Vacation Bible School, my girls volunteered with our church - one worked with elementary age teaching crafts, another did "theater" (mostly turning on a video and comforting preschoolers), my youngest and I volunteered with "rec" which was mostly supervising dodge ball, water play and other silly kid games. We thought about volunteering at other churches in the area after ours was over.
Volunteer work - most local non-profits could use help doing just about everything from stuffing envelopes, cleaning kennels and walking and training dogs (Humane society), walking next to kids to hold them on during hippotherapy...
Part-time jobs: One daughter sorts and hangs clothes at a local thrift store in exchange for cute new clothes. Babysitting/ mother's helper.
A local neighborhood girl started a bible study group (could be a book club, service group...).
I've found a list of all the camps that will take special needs kids (I'm sure you can access the info on the internet).
The MHMR my daughter receives services from offers a social skills camp once a week for teens, and she volunteers with the younger group too (she enjoys younger kids more and she's well supervised).