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!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Year End Standardized Testing

So Caroline had her end of the year standardized testing today, one on one with a licensed tester, using the Woodcock Johnson complete battery.  The good news is that her math score went up tremendously from last year, so a huge thank you to Teaching Textbooks and Mathnasium and Learning Rx and also for Caroline who put in the effort.  She tested three grade levels higher than last May, so I think moving on to Geometry in the fall won't be an issue.  Whew!

The bad news is that her verbal scores, usually her best, were lower than last year's. :(  I am not sure what to make of that except that she has had two concussions since the last WJ test and so perhaps she is still being affected by them.  The tester said that she seemed to lack short term memory skills necessary for some of the sections.  Sigh.  I was really thinking her verbal skills would have gone up.  I am not sure if this is the result of the concussions or the increase in the Seroquel since last May, or if  bipolar disorder itself has contributed to the memory issues.  My husband and I have resigned ourselves to the fact that she is going to need a lot of help through high school, not only math tutoring, but likely tutoring in other subjects as well.  This is the child whose IQ at age 5 was near genius before she was on any meds or had a major episode.   Early-onset bipolar disorder really does rob kids of so much, not only of their friendships, and relationships with their siblings, but often of academic achievement.


Anonymous said...

Oh Megan, I'm so sorry to read about the verbal skills. My dd is very similar. Today she is doing her Algebra standardized testing and will do her Biology tomorrow. I'm not expecting her to do well, even though she does great in school. Same thing....the verbage on the tests throw her for a loop. I, too, have wondered how much effect the meds have on some of those cognitive skills we rely on every day. Big hugs. C

Mama Bear said...

This is sad to hear. I often wonder how much is bipolar and how much is damage to the brain over time with the illness.

Angel Read said...

Sometimes standardized test scores can be a little goofy... if the child is tired, bored, in a bad mood, getting sick, has a headache, is distracted, etc, it can throw off some of the scores! If she takes it again next year, you might find that her verbal scores are back up!