Special Needs Blog Week in Review – May 27 – June 2, 2012

Once a week, the Special Needs Blog Week in Review brings you a quick summary of each of the blogs that appeared here in the past week. It gives you an easy way to find the ones that you missed, or that you didn’t have time to read the first time around. The Special Needs Podcast Roundup went up on May 28, 2012. This week, I’d like to point out an episode by FAQAutism. The episode is called “End-of-the-School-Year-Blues”. It discusses how the changes that occur at the end of the school year alter the usual, expected, routine of the … Continue reading

Study Finds Preemies Have Higher Risk of Severe Mental Disorders

We know that babies who are born prematurely tend to have a lag between their chronological age and their developmental age. A study finds that they are also at a higher risk for developing certain types of severe mental disorders than are their peers who were born full term. There are statistics that say that one out of every eight babies is born as a preemie. This means that the baby was born before the pregnancy reached 37 weeks. Scientific research that has been done in areas that relate to health and medicine have helped even the youngest preemies to … Continue reading

More on childhood bipolar.

A came across a blog written by a psychologist that spoke to me. He was writing about a training he went to on childhood bipolar. When I was working in an inpatient facility for youth I was shocked at how many kids came into my facility with a diagnosis of bipolar, even though they did not meet the diagnostic criteria and clearly had other issues going on. I have previously written on the controversy of bipolar disorder and its diagnosis in childhood. What got me about the blog was that this psychologist was bringing to light some concerns that many … Continue reading

The Controversy of Bipolar Disorder

As I was reading through older blogs to see what has been covered I came across one on bipolar that caught my eye. Bipolar has become an interesting phenomenon in the mental health world. It used to be known as “Manic-Depressive Disorder” and was considered to be rare. Then the new diagnostic criteria came out, and all of a sudden I started seeing it diagnosed more and more. I started hearing “I’m Bipolar” as a reason for behaviors. Children started carrying the label, even though they truly did not meet the full diagnostic criteria. My colleagues and I started questioning … Continue reading

The Difference Between Moodiness and Bipolar Disorder

I was talking to a co-worker the other day and we were discussing a teenage client who has extreme mood swings. One minute he’s happy go lucky, joking and laughing, the next he’s angry at the world and wants to hurt someone. “I’m guessing he’s Bipolar ,” my peer said. I just rolled my eyes. Often people will say things like this when dealing with moody people. After all, most know that people who suffer from Bipolar Disorder have extreme ups and extreme downs. The misconception that most people have is that these ups and downs happen quickly, like mood … Continue reading

“There’s a Hobo at School with a Knife!” More Adventures in Childhood Bipolar Disorder

My husband and I were faced with the horrific task of telling my stepdaughters that their mother, baby sister, and brother-to-be had all been killed in a terrible car accident. As we sat them down that morning, the look of concern on their faces was obvious. They knew something was terribly wrong, just by their father’s demeanor. He was a tough-guy police officer who rarely cried. Yet now he was racked with visible grief. It was hard for him to find the right words. How does a father gently break his daughters’ hearts? With his arms around them, he shared … Continue reading

Little Girl on the Edge – Childhood Bipolar Disorder

Motherhood, for me, has been a journey with unexpected turns and frightening pitfalls. Little did I know when Cassidy first appeared on my doorstep the great challenges I would face being her stepmother. On that day, she looked up at me with a cherubic face, pink cheeks, and a welcoming smile. “Hello, my name is Cassidy,” she said brightly. “It’s very nice to meet you.” I didn’t know what childhood bipolar disorder looked like, but if I could have imagined it, this gorgeous little girl would not be its personification. Cassidy moved into my home at the age of six, … Continue reading

Pregnancy and Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder can vary enormously in both severity and type of symptoms between person to person. Therefore the assistance of a psychiatrist will be necessary to help you manage your bipolar symptoms during pregnancy. Lithium and epilum are two of the drugs of choice used to manage the bipolar state and it is best for your baby if you can be as drug-free as possible during pregnancy, particularly during the first trimester. Pregnancy can be a physically stressful time, so ensure that your diet is excellent and you get plenty of exercise. The latter can both help with lowering stress … Continue reading

Ten Ways to Help Your Child with Bipolar Disorder Succeed in School

Researchers are coming to the conclusion that a large number of children in the United States who were thought to have ADHD actually have early onset bipolar disorder. ADHD and early onset bipolar disorder are “look alikes” and can be misdiagnosed. There are many other ADHD look-alikes, which I will address in a future blog. The child with bipolar disorder can have difficulties in the public school system, for obvious reasons. Their mood swings, manic behaviors and depression can create obstacles to learning. A child with bipolar disorder should be in frequent contact with a caring child psychiatrist who can … Continue reading

“I Wish I Were Never Born.” Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder in Children

Like many childhood mental disorders, bipolar can be extremely difficult to properly diagnose. This is because bipolar disorder, which is sometimes called mania or manic depression, can mimic the symptoms of other disorders. Bipolar disorder may present with symptoms similar to conduct disorder or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Also, childhood bipolar disorder can manifest itself very differently from the symptoms we typically see in adults with the condition. In order for the diagnosis of bipolar disorder to be made, the symptoms must be causing the child serious problems at home and school. The child with bipolar disorder will have difficultly … Continue reading