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!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Text Anxiety Led to Skewed Results

Ugh.  I am kind of frustrated right now.  Caroline suffers from math test anxiety and has for years.  I remember when she was in the sixth grade and she was taking a homeschool math co-op class and the teacher said it was too easy for her and she needed to be in pre-Algebra.  So the pre-Algebra teacher attempted to give her the placement test and SHE COULD NOT TAKE THE TEST. She knew the material and completely froze up and blanked and couldn't prove she was ready for pre-Algebra!! So she went back to the class that she was bored in.  All because she couldn't take a test without freaking out.

Well, the Mathnasium assessment she did that we were able to take home with us showed many,  many problems that she had just skipped, easy ones.  Today when we were homeschooling I went back to my Saxon speed drill books and did some of the drills that were similar to the problems she said she couldn't do at Mathnasium, and SHE DID THEM JUST FINE!!! So I asked her what the problem was (the math tester was really shocked about how "little" she could do) and she said she blanked and froze up and just didn't want to try because she freaked out.  Great, so she may actually be much farther along than she tested.  So frustrating!!!!!  I thought she was past the major fear factor, but I guess she isn't.   I will of course explain this phenomenon to the math tutor on Wednesday and show her the work she did with me.

I am happy that she actually does remember lots of her pre-Algebra skills, but unhappy that she couldn't show it when it counted.  :(  Oh well, we just have to keep moving ahead.

We went through a major financial crisis today.  Not fun.  Being unemployed sucks, pardon my French.  The new job doesn't start until early in the summer and so we don't get paid until sometime in June, so we are still hanging on by a thread.  I thought I was going throw up today I was so stressed out.


the mom that could said...

All though my son is younger (in 3rd grade) he too freezes up during tests! I am currently homeschooling as well. We did an online test the other day for reading and as soon as a passage popped up for him to read on his own, he shut down. His head went down on the table, tears, frustration, anger, etc. I wonder if it's an avoidance tactic, or what~ He has really bad anxiety but it's hard sometimes to figure out how to teach him to take things head on, and get through them. He has improved 100% doing school at home, his comprehension is much better... but he still struggles to work on his own, and reading is a major weakness for him. I just hope I can help him get to a point that he doesn't shut down when he has testing and has to work alone. He literally will not even try! I totally feel your pain there! Unfortunately, it makes them look like they know far less than they do.

Megan said...

Hi MTC--I am even considering giving her Valerian Root or Clonipin now before tests just to take the edge off of her anxiety. I know that when I am super anxious my brain goes into lockdown, I can barely talk. So to ask these kids to take tests when they must be feeling the same is probably torture. I am dreading when she has to take the end of the year homeschool assessment and when she takes the PSAT next year and then the SAT. I want to try to get her disability documented so she can get more time on tests like those.

the mom that could said...

I just picked up liquid valerian root, my son tried it once and hated the taste... I am trying to find something I can use to "mask" the taste! I know last week I told my son we were just doing a practice test instead of a text, low and behold 100%! The word test alone messes with him. I'm not too keen on tests myself and I have to admit he probably inherited his anxiety from me. I hope you have good results with it!!!

Megan said...

Valerian does tasted horrendous. Even the capsules smell awful. I am thinking CALM Prt by NeuroScience may be a better and easier solution. Klonpin works great and is cheap, but I would only use it for these test situations as it can be addicting. My sister suggested a site called "Native Remedies" which has some calming herbs to recommend. I have been using Valerian root myself recently and I like it but it upsets my stomach.

the mom that could said...

I have used the drops a few times myself, as well. Some days I just feel myself start to catch on fire (the best way I can describe it). I will check out that site!