Bipolar child?

Are you homeschool a special needs child? Are you personally physically challenged? Here is the place to share your questions, tips, and experiences.

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Bipolar child?

Postby gottalovelattes » Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:20 am

Anyone homeschooling a child with bipolar or other mood disorder? I have an 11 year old son who is really struggling with school right now (has already missed 18 days in the first half of the year)...not performing to his potential and is miserable most of the time. Any experience, ideas, suggestions?

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Postby mandiana » Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:20 pm

My husband is bi-polar. Two things that really help him are routine and getting enough sleep. I would also try to give him a sense of personal responsibility.. i.e - have him set up his own schedule.
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Postby mamaholly » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:26 pm

Yes, I have a 10yo son with bipolar disorder. I've always homeschooled him. Routine is terribly important to him. I've also taken to having a written list of what is expected for the day. For some reason, seeing it on paper is more authoritative and less scary than me telling him what we will do.

One of the things I love about homeschooling is that we do it year round. So sometimes, we just take a break when he can't handle it and he's technically not missing anything.

When my son is stable we just try to get in as much learning as is possible until the window closes again.

Also, we got him involved in swim team. For some reason it works for him. It helps him to have daily exercise of some kind.

When I try to give John choices of any kind when he is not perfectly stable, things go horribly badly. I started off wanting to be an unschooler but that isn't something that works for my son. I realized my overarching philosophy was that education should be tailored to the child. In John's case too many choices causes him to check out and stop participating. So we do a lot of trying something and then he reports to me how he felt about it. If it was good we'll do it again, if not... we probably won't. I find sometimes he can't even pick his own book to read. But the beauty of knowing him extremely well is that I can pick something I know he'll like. When he does express a strong desire to do something a certain way, I try to always make that a yes. Unless, it is to go sleep instead of school for too long a period.

Oh and about being miserable most of the time. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be much in our family we can do about that except keep his meds in line as much as possible. There are times when he is miserable no matter what is happening around him. Those are the times we really remember that he is sick.

Please feel free to PM me if you'd like to talk more.
Mom to John (8yo) and Hanna (19mo)

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