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Update December 17, 2012

Posted by linnic in behavior, Diagnosis, Education, Medication.
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Over the past 5 months, things have improved for the most part.  During my son’s last hospitalization, we had a complete med overhaul and that seemed to have put us on a better path.   His current medications include Zyprexa, Kapvay, Depakote, Wellbutrin, as well as melatonin.  He is also taking thyroid medication.  He had not shown any problems with his thyroid until we did a trial of Lithium just prior to his last hospitalization.  He was diagnosed upon dismissal with Bipolar Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and ADHD.

At home, he is doing very well.  For the first time in at least 4 years, we have been able to do fun things as a family.  We have been able to go to museums, restaurants, and to the movies.  These may seem like small things, but we were literally homebound much of the time because we didn’t want to risk him having a rage in an uncontrolled environment.  I feel like our whole family is beginning a healing process that will no doubt take quite sometime, but at least we are at a point where healing is an option.

School has not been as successful.  Last year we had to move him to a school that specializes in educating students who can’t make it in a regular school.  I was not excited by the move.  We had AMAZING teachers and paras at the elementary school, and after 5 years, they really knew how best to work with him.  Unfortunately, things had escalated to a point where the other students weren’t safe due to his rages.  He did fairly well at the school until October of this year.  About 6 weeks ago, I received a call that he was being escorted to our local crisis center by the police and his principal.  While there they were able to calm him down and get us an immediate appt with his doctor so that we would not have to hospitalize again.  About a week and a half later, I got a call that he was being placed under arrest for assault and disorderly conduct.  He was released to our custody with an agreement to take him to our juvenile center for processing.

My biggest fear was always that he would hurt someone and get arrested.  I’ve always been told, “oh he’s little yet, he’ll grow out of it, don’t worry…”  Thankfully no one was seriously injured, but all I can think about is that my fears are slowly becoming reality.  I have not given up hope, of course, but it is daunting.

 

Suspension August 29, 2008

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Well we have now had our first official suspension of the year.  We have been to the principal countless times, all this and school has only been in session two weeks.  They are looking at putting him back on an IEP but we have to go back through all of the testing again.  I sure wish SOMETHING would be easy.
Today he even had his case manager sitting with him, and he still couldn’t keep it together.  UGH!!!   Luckily we go to the Dr for a med change next Wed.

Back to School August 21, 2008

Posted by linnic in behavior, IEP.
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Well the kids (and me too) are back in school.  This is a double edged sword around here.  B has already had some trouble.  Day 1 & 2 were fine.  Day 3 he had to change his colored card for talking.  Day 4 he kicked another kid.  Day 5 we end up in the principal’s office for throwing sand at a teacher’s face.  Day 6 we over turn chairs and desks in the classroom and visit the principal again. Eachrage just increases in intensity.

I had a feeling this year would bring the same issues back to light.  When we went from all day to half day kindergarten last year, we saw HUGE improvements.  Now we are back to all day and things aren’t going to well.  We may be in 1st grade but this is the 3rd August of school/PreK and the 3rd time we have started down this road.

I will be seeing soon if they are going to put him back on an IEP.  They are going to have to do something before someone gets hurt.  Boy do I ever wish this whole parenting thing was easier.

Not Improving July 15, 2008

Posted by linnic in behavior, Medication.
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Our summer started out rough, very rough.  I really thought that by now, things would have improved, but they have not.  We are having multiple rages a day, many requiring restraint, some requiring additional meds to get him to calm down.

He had a big rage at the park the other day because he was hungry.  We live 15 minutes from the park, and would eat when we came home, but that didn’t matter.  I had to sit in the backseat holding holding his arms so that he would not take off his seatbelt and attack his brother and sister.  It seems like we are always dealing with a rage, preventing one, or recovering from one.  I am truly exhausted!

We had a med change; an increase in his Concerta from 27 mg to 36 mg.  This does not seem to have helped at all, in fact, I dare say things are slightly worse.  One of the things I hate about med changes is going back in to the Dr.  “So, did the medicine help?” How hard it is to answer!  Sometimes I feel like I literally have to split hairs.  Well our intensity is down slightly, but our frequency and duration are up.  So is that an improvement??

I have been reading some other blogs and support group postings about bipolar kids and see these parents whose child is now 10 or 12 and I just don’t how we are going to make it that long.  My son is getting bigger and much stronger.  Restraining him is increasingly difficult.  His aggression is more serious.  I’m truly at a loss as to what to do.  If we don’t restrain, people get hurt, but we are close to the point where restraint won’t be an option.  Then what?  What can I do to keep everyone safe?  I would love to hear some comments of what parents do.

I must say I truly appreciate all of the comments that I have received.  WordPress does not allow me to respond to individual comments, but please know that I do read them.   It is nice to know that I am not alone in this struggle and that there are parents out there who completely understand!!

Great Video on BP Kids July 14, 2008

Posted by linnic in behavior, Education, Humor, IEP.
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I could relate so well to some of what she was saying, especially in the “At-School Dr. Jeckyll and the At-Home Mr. Hyde” section.

Rainbows June 19, 2008

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So many times I have to post that we are having a rough day.  Well today I get to post the opposite.  My son has had a very good day- the first one all summer!  As a treat to reinforce that we are going to grandpa’s house for a special “breakfast” dinner and swimming.  I think it was Dolly Parton who said “If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”  We have a lot of stormy days here both literally and figuratively, so when a rainbow day comes along, we all must appreciate it!

What to do June 10, 2008

Posted by linnic in behavior.
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I feel like we have turned back the clocks to last October, a point when my son’s tantrums were at an all time high.  He has been very unstable since summer started.  We have had to give a PRN for behavior and had to do more restraints in the past 2 weeks than in the previous 6 months combined.  He is completely destructive, extremely aggressive, and defiant.  Then he will turn around and be the sweetest kids ever.  We have had to walk on eggshells lately.  Today he damaged the shower doors in my bathroom- will have to replace a piece he broke, he damaged a regular wooden door, tore the window shades down and crumpled them up, and put bruises up and down my legs.  NOTHING seems to be working right now.  We did have a med change and I thought that was helping a bit, but maybe not.  We are on a physical and emotional roller coaster all day long and I am completely exhausted.  I don’t know where to go for help or what to do.

I signed up with a yahoo! group of some other parents of BP kids, but haven’t been accepted just yet.  I am hoping that conversing with other parents of young kids with BP will help.

Spray paint- AGAIN! June 3, 2008

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I THOUGHT we had gotten rid of all the spray paint in the house, but boy was I wrong!  My son found a lone white can and resprayed his car!  I am so furious with him.  I have now taken the chargers for both cars and locked them up for at least a week.  I am trying to decide if I should make him scrub the car clean again- obviously it did nothing to deter him.  I know he is impulsive and that is part of the ADHD/bipolar, but geez!!

Things this summer have been terrible!  We have had to restrain and punish like crazy and NOTHING seems to work.  He has had everyone in the family in tears; including my parents!  I don’t know what to do with him! I am completely at my witts end.  We called the Dr and she wants us to give him a few days on the new medicine, but I’m not sure how much I can take.  We had 4 hours of bliss today because he went to an anger management group for that time.  I wish it would have been all day long.

We have started a positive reinforcement chart in which he can earn happy/sad faces, and then gets a prize if he has so many of them.  Right now, he is earning a face every 30 minutes and if he gets 10 out of 12 by 1:00 then he gets a prize.  Then in the afternoon/evening if he earns 12/14 he can get a prize.  So far he has earned one prize in the past 6 days.

He had been doing so much better before school let out and now we have fallen down the mountain.

The Car May 31, 2008

Posted by linnic in behavior, Uncategorized.
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My son has two of the little powerwheels vehicles: a mustang and a hummer. He absolutely loves them and every day drives each until the battery is dead. Well today I was inside getting my youngest to stay in bed while my middle son was outside with dad. Dad was mowing in the back, and son was playing in the front. My hubby comes in to tell me that our son had spray painted his mustang. He found an old can of spray paint and decorate it to “make it look cooler for his sister since he was giving it to her for her birthday. Nice gesture, but geez!!! I made him scrub all the paint off, and luckily most came off. The scrubbing process took over an hour. I’m not sure if it will prevent another occurrence or not, but hopefully!!! I am including a picture of one side of the car. The joys of parenthood!!

Shoes May 25, 2008

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My son has this obsession with shoes (yes, the 5 yr old!!)  He wants a new pair every week.  My mom has always been the one to buy shoes for the kids, no reason really she just always has.  Last week he starts begging grandma and grandpa for a new pair.  The last pair was purchased a month ago and in that time he cut his shoe laces so he wouldn’t have to tie them.  Well Friday I discovered his latest shoe alteration, he had cut the tongue of the shoe off, but only on one side.  When approached about it, he claimed he was having a hard time kicking a football and this helped.  Ok, MAYBE a plausible explanation IF he had a football!!  Grandpa was certainly NOT at all happy about this.  So now if my son wants new shoes, he is working for them.  He is going to my dad’s house and doing chores, getting paid a dollar per chore.  My mom is having a really hard time with this, she wants him to be able to earn the money quickly.  My dad and I on the other hand think it needs to be something he actually has to work for.  Today begins the first round of chores, can’t wait to hear what he earns!