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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.



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.

Educating the Bipolar Child April 25, 2008

Posted by linnic in behavior, Education.
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As a teacher, education is an important part of my life. Yesterday the teachers at my school had an inservice over BIST which is a program designed to help kids with severe behavioral problems succeed in school. This was not a first inservice on this program, but it provided me with some things to think about in regards to my son. The program stresses holding kids accountable for their actions.

One key quote that stuck out in my mind yesterday was “intervene when you see it, not feel it.” So many times I wait to react until I get emotionally invested in the situation. Whereas if I would intervene earlier, things might be better controlled. BIST teaches kids to think about why they did what they did and what they can do next time. It gives them 3 goals to make them successful in life.

1. I can make good choices even if I am mad.
2. I can be ok even if someone around me isn’t.
3. I can do something even when I don’t want to.

A person can not survive in our world without these skills. How many times do you have to do something you don’t want to do? How often do you have to be ok even when someone else isn’t? (Parents of bipolar kids do this everyday!!)

A person lacking those skills:

can’t hold a job
have trouble maintaining positive personal relationships
end up in jail
have chaotic lives

School October 26, 2007

Posted by linnic in Education, IEP.
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For many, where to send a child to school brings with it many questions. Parents seek a school that offers rigorous academics, a positive environment, and nice facilities. Often there are several schools from which to choose. When you have a child with special needs, the chooses seem more difficult. You have to take into account so many other things. Will they offer what my child currently needs, can they meet his needs in the future?

Right now we are struggling with where my son should go to school. I am fortunate in that I am a teacher and he has for the past few months attended school where I teach. Due to the recent increase in behaviors, his current school is unable to meet his needs. I live and work in separate school districts which is causing some further complications. Will my work district continue to help meet our needs, or will they pass him to our home district.

I must admit, I do not know much about our home district. We moved recently and I never really considered the schools because I “knew” I could keep my kids in my school. My work district is large and has an abundance of resources and a lot of experience with kids with problems similar to that of my son.

Our district is big on inclusion, which is not an option for my son right now. He needs to be self contained (will mean going to a different regular ed school) or put into a special school for students who are labeled “ED”. He does not yet have this label, I’m not sure we want that label and several people on his IEP team don’t think he will qualify.

So what do we do? At this point, we are weighing options, but there is a limit to the time before we will need to make a decision. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer, no magic wand.