Friday, June 30, 2006

Summer reading...

At the library on Monday, I came across a book for parents titled THE UPS AND DOWNS OF RAISING A BIPOLAR CHILD. As a teacher of several children with mood disorders, I have great interest in the latest research and support mechanisms.Well, this book was short on new information, but chock full of comforting, supportive quips and quotes. Sprinkled throughout the chapters, moms and dads of bipolar children make relevant comments that "bring home" the otherwise practical/technical information.

How diagnosis is usually a long time coming...
The reasons to consider hospitalization....
How to talk to others about your child's illness....
The value of small group, individualized learning environments...

Bingo. That's us.

I try to imagine the pain of being so out of control, of wanting desperately to fit in, and fearing the consequences of acting out so overtly. Our little Sadie comes at me like a whirling dirvish, unable to stop herself at that scary moment in time, and I know she yearns to be calm, settled, "normal".

What's the hardest thing about teaching kids with mood disorders? At this point, it's balancing kids' academic needs in this age of testing and accountability against the need to reduce kids' stress and slow the world down a bit so agitation is minimized.

Well, it's not a tough decision on a day to day basis. I KNOW what schedule to pick when my children show acute signs of irritability and volatility.

The tests be damned, this day, this hour, for now. We'll get back on the ESSENTIAL KNOWLEDGE path as soon as we can.

I don't "raise" a bipolar child, but I do love me one or two each year. And I am loving taking a break this summer from the heartbreaking ups and downs of doing so. My prayers go out to the families who don't have this luxury.

5 comments:

Amerloc said...

I love you for doing what I don't believe I could do. I could manage for maybe an hour here or an hour there, but 6-7-8 hours a day, the majority of the year? No thank you kindly. I haven't the temperament.

And may your break from it, however temporary, leave you refreshed enough to fall in love once again.

Forty_Two said...

Why has an unwillingness to behave oneself become accepted as a medical problem? All this does is serve to convince better behaved children that adults cannot be trusted and are unwilling to protect them from their more violent peers.

molly_g said...

Ah, I love that one thing we can be certain of as parents (and teachers) is that we will be judged harshly by strangers... How comforting! ?

Thanks for the suggestion on the book. And you are right, I never get a break, The Kid is mine all year around!!!

Jennifer said...

As a mother of a child with bipolar I thank you for doing this. I wish more people were "educated" about Bipolar. There would be fewer people out there who make stupid comments about it being a behavior issue. Yes, the children should be held accountable for their actions but some of it is out of there control. It takes caring people like you to make a difference in this world.Thanks Again

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