And with fear and trepidation we are embarking on a new adventure at yet another school. I am really struggling with "did we make the right decision" not because I think it could be wrong academically or socially, but because of the long commute everyday that will be expensive since gas is sky high, and because Mae's pick up schedule is different from Caroline's depending on the day, and then I have Jane's pick up schedule to deal with two of those days as well. I could really be driving all over the place and hating it. Or I could love this new school so much I won't mind in the end. I just hope it is the latter. This school is very structured about homework assignments, and has a zero tolerance policy for late homework. Meaning if it is late, even if you are just tardy, it counts as a zero. Hmmm. Caroline and Mae have both struggled with getting their assignments in on time, so this will either be a great incentive or will result in really bad grades. We shall see. This is a new policy starting this year so maybe it will change if parents protest enough. I understand their philosophy but it is kind of harsh.
We are preemptively asking for an increase in Caroline's Seroquel dosage with the beginning of the school year. She always ramps towards mania in September and October and we have learned that the hard way. So now we anticipate the seasonal change and try to stay ahead of it. Then she usually ends up needing more Lamictal later in the fall to counteract depression. So complicated!
Have a good start to the school year! I know how tough it is to deal with teachers, administrators, school psychologists and the like! Don't back down and be the advocate for your kid that your kid needs. And don't be afraid to hire an educational advocate if you can't get the school to cooperate!! I have a link to the right on my blog.
About our Daughter
I am mother to four wonderful daughters, ages 13, 15, 17 and 19, 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.