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I found my own good advice for my bipolar child

Share Your Story: What Was the Best Advice You Received Regarding Your Bipolar Child?

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Updated February 23, 2010

What problems were you facing with your bipolar child?

Our son was diagnosed as ADHD and bipolar in first grade. He is now 10 years old. The biggest problem we face are the mood swings, and with his growth spurts the mood swings are never the same. It also makes it very hard to control his medicine. We also worry about our son not having close friends. He has kids at school he plays with, but at home no one calls or comes over to play, and it doesn't seem to bother our son at all. We don't mind playing with our son, but we don't want him to miss out on the close personal friendships that kids usually have at this age. He also struggles with school work and homework.

What was the best advice you got?

I haven't gotten any good advice. We talk with our son and meet with his teachers, doctors and counselors constantly. People had told us to not tell anyone that our son was bipolar, but we found that hurt him more than it helped.

At first I was worried that my son would be treated differently in a bad way, but it was just the opposite. His teachers were much more understanding and willing to work with him and us once they knew what was going on than before when they didn't know.

Advice

  • As long as you're comfortable sharing with others that your child is bipolar I would suggest at least telling your child's teacher and or school counselor.

What long-term impact did using the advice have?

By telling the school what was going on he was able to get bi-weekly counseling at school and an IEP (Individualized Education Plan). These gave our son additional help at school, with homework, and on the state tests.

What advice do you have for parents of bipolar kids?

Patience, understanding and a great doctor will make a big difference in your life and your child's life. Also, be sure to make time for yourself, you and your spouse and also time for your family. Pick your battles and have patience.

Marcia Purse, About.com Bipolar Disorder, says:

For more on Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), see School Tools and How to Get an IEP.

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