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!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Full Blown Panic Attack

Caroline had a major anxiety attack tonight over the coming finals in Geometry.  She apparently feels completely lost, despite the two to three times a week Mathnasium sessions.  She says that the teacher moves fast, he doesn't explain things well, he humiliates the kids who don't get it, etc.  I emailed him earlier today and the Special Ed head who wrote up her IEP to try to get to the bottom of these complaints.  She thinks she bombed a test today after freezing in the beginning.  Now she is worried she will fail the finals and her hopes of playing lacrosse on a high school team as she has dreamed will be lost.  We are pretty worried about this too, only because the hope of playing lacrosse is what has kept her striving academically.   There isn't much else in her life that is positive.  Tonight she was getting so worked up, crying, angry, freaking out.  Not a pretty scene.  She says her short term memory issues stem from the concussions.   I don't know that the concussions are the main problem so much as the meds that slow down her thoughts.  

This whole fall foray into public school has given me a new understanding for the first time why sports might be truly advantageous to disadvantaged youth or to the child who isn't a genius.  I never really got this before.  When a child has very little in their lives that seems good and positive, playing on a team and being successful there might be the only incentive for trying harder in the classroom.  Having a gifted athlete who struggles so much academically,  I now see why one cannot just dismiss an obsession with a sport as superfluous or even a waste of time.   But the academics have to be there.  We are doing everything in our power to help her get there, including hiring a Biology tutor, and now a private Geometry teacher.   I am praying she can hold onto her grades so she can pursue her dreams.


Anonymous said...

You are an AMAZING Mom and right on target with your Sports thoughts/comments! Keep up with the hard work that you do for your daughter as it does make a difference in her life!

Anonymous said...

But when the said sport leads to injuries like concussions, which again can impact learning (and lifelong health)....is it really worth the long reaching effects? There has to be a happier (and safer) middle ground.

Megan said...

Well we are certainly aware of the dangers of lacrosse. This is very hard to know when to pull the plug on a certain sport. We don't want her to get another concussion but we don't want to dash her dreams. I wish it were running she was obsessed with! Honestly I don't know what to do right now. My husband is quite discouraged. I keep wondering if homeschooling would be kinder and gentler for a kid who needs kinder and gentler.