We have made the decision to bring Caroline home and either have the school provide home based tutoring or to just outright homeschool her. She is very depressed and frustrated that she can't even do more than an hour at school before the room starts spinning and she gets a horrible migraine. We are frustrated and I feel my stress level going from moderate to severe. This pattern is helping no one.
Today we have an emergency IEP meeting with the IEP staff and me, my husband and Caroline to discuss what home based instruction would look like. We have heard some mixed things about the success of home based tutoring, mainly that not every tutor is as dedicated to ensuring their student is getting all of their work from the teachers and being consistent about interfacing with the school and the student. Maybe we will give it until the end of the quarter and decide if it is working or if we need to just withdraw her and homeschool on our own.
I must say again that the Special Ed head is AMAZING and so dedicated to Caroline and to finding solutions. She even wrote her a card reminding her that God is working all of this out somehow for her good and citing Romans 8:28-29. How could we ask for a better IEP team?? But even with such a blessing, Caroline just needs to come home for now until we determine how to treat her photosensitivity to fluorescent lights. Her grades have really slipped too and now lacrosse may be in jeopardy for the spr9ing season.
She decided not to go on our church youth retreat this weekend, I think out of fear of rejection more than anything. She is so gun shy concerning relationships with other teens, and who can blame her?
One day at a time, right? I feel so much relief at the thought of not worrying about that daily phone call from school, but homeschooling will present its own challenges too.
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.