Bipolar Support Forums To Share and Support One Another

Having a pretty tough time

A place for Moms, Dads, and Parents-to-be.

by Tigger » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:39 am

My son's bipolar condition has gotten to the point where the school has said he needs an outplacement. I'm not surprised by this. He's missed half a year of school.

What makes this difficult is that there aren't many therapeutic day schools (which is where he would go) where the other kids aren't a pretty tough population, according to our educational consultant and our son's school district. Finding a good fit for him will be tough. He is a very typical kid, with no co-morbid conditions (i.e. Autism, ODD, etc) with the exception of ADD. We've been told that many of the children in these schools are suicidal, self-harming, violent, drug-seeking etc. They think that he will be frightened by the other kids and will refuse to go. I think they may be right.

Homeschooling is an option, I guess, but not a good one. Where we live in New England there isn't a robust secular homeschooling community. Plus, he needs therapeutic support to help him learn coping strategies when he's feeling depressed or anxious. And he needs those *in the moment*, not during 1 hour a week therapy sessions.

I'm going to tour a few schools this week. But I have to admit--I'm becoming very depressed myself. This is not good. My husband travels alot so unfortunately I'm left to try to manage my own depressive disorder and my son's bipolar disorder at the same time. When my husband is home, he is all-in. Amazing support for my son. Truly makes a profound difference in his life. But, he works. He travels for work. That's the deal.

Did any of you attend therapeutic schools? Do you have children who do?
_______

Mom to 12 year old boy with bipolar

Meds: 300mg Lamictal; 300mg Lithium; 10mg Abilify; .50mg Risperdal
User avatar
Tigger
 
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:20 pm
Location: New England

by hal » Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:55 am

I haven't attended (or heard of) therapeutic schools, but I certainly wish you the best in finding a good one for your son. And for relief from your own depression.
. . . all times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone.
-- Tennyson
User avatar
hal
Moderator
 
Posts: 1816
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:54 pm
Location: Iowa

by Duckysmom » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:10 am

My daughter had special classes but never transferred to another school. Her issue was ADHD which brought on lots of other issues. I was glad the school worked with her instead of sending her to what they called "alternative" school. Having been a school bus driver for special ed, I knew what kids went to those schools so I would have fought like hell to keep her out of one. I wish you the best of luck and check those schools out thoroughly. Sorry you're going through it on your own and hope your deptession is short lived.
"Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one."
Bruce Lee
User avatar
Duckysmom
 
Posts: 1236
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:52 am

by Tigger » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:53 am

Glad to hear you had other options Ducky.

Thanks for both of your kind words.
_______

Mom to 12 year old boy with bipolar

Meds: 300mg Lamictal; 300mg Lithium; 10mg Abilify; .50mg Risperdal
User avatar
Tigger
 
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:20 pm
Location: New England

by Alison » Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:25 pm

Have you searched for a program called a Partial hospitalization program? My son is in one. They screen so it is better to me. Monday - Friday 8-5. 2 hours of school, and other than lunch the rest of the time is therapy. He meets with an individual therapist, a psychiatrist for medicine management, and we have weekly family meetings. We are lucky to have one here, but maybe you can find something like that and maybe it would be an option.

Also, both of my sons have been through a residential program, and it isn't scary, or at least the one here wasn't. It was amazing. All day school plus all the medical and psych you would expect. The admin and staff make or break it, not the other residents.

You can always contact some places and ask for a tour. One without your son and one with. See what you think and ask lots of questions. Best of luck!!
Alison
 
Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:39 pm

by Tigger » Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:36 pm

Hi Alison-

That's interesting. I looked it up for our state and found a well known one. i don't know if it would be the right situation but I'll look into it. Thank you so much. That's very helpful xo
_______

Mom to 12 year old boy with bipolar

Meds: 300mg Lamictal; 300mg Lithium; 10mg Abilify; .50mg Risperdal
User avatar
Tigger
 
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:20 pm
Location: New England

by crazymama30 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:15 pm

Tigger, my son went to a special school, but he was verbally agressive and at times physically aggressive. It was a school where students were kept in the line of sight. Many students were aggressive and suicidal, and while it was not the ideal option for my son, it was the best one as he went into high school. Once he outgrew some of the behaviors he transitioned to part time at the special school and part time at his home school.

It is hard. What types of problems does your son have at school? Why are they recommending he find a different school environment?
just keep swimming
crazymama30
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:17 am

by Tigger » Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:14 pm

Hi CM30-

My son has bipolar 1, rapid cycling. What keeps him from being able to go to school and access the curriculum is typically depression. It can last an hour or a day or two. But it's disruptive and not only does he miss days, even when he's in school, he can't focus on or access the lessons.

I toured a few schools. Some were more focused on kids on the spectrum. Some were more for behavioral issues (i.e violence, self harm, etc). One of the schools is well known and very expensive. I have a friend who is on their board and set up meetings for me so that I could talk to the administration in a very frank way. The clinical director was the most helpful. She encouraged me to keep in mind that one of the most important things for my son during his teen years was to have a cohort that felt "normal" to him--peers that he could relate to. Her school was definitely not it. In fact, the only school who she felt might serve him well was an hour away from us.

We also had an "off the record" conversation with the SPED director for our district. She basically said we shouldn't send our son to a therapeutic school. She told us that she couldn't go on the record to say it, but that we should find a small private school and approach her about paying for it. Or, send him to the our public school and insist that they hire a 1:1 teacher/clinical worker to support him.

Our issue, really, is that we need professionals to tell us what to do. What does he really need? What will help him learn? Develop?

He's unusual in that he has juvenile onset bipolar, but doesn't have autism, ODD, or other issues. When he's normal, he's normal. When he's not, he's severely depressed or in a mixed state (the later is rare now).

He sees a tdoc (who is a pdoc, actually) once a week. It's not enough to help him learn coping strategies. He needs daily support.

I wish there was a model program that could help him. We're at a loss as to what to do.

Thanks again all for your support and advice.
_______

Mom to 12 year old boy with bipolar

Meds: 300mg Lamictal; 300mg Lithium; 10mg Abilify; .50mg Risperdal
User avatar
Tigger
 
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:20 pm
Location: New England


Return to Bipolar Parents