Accommodations for bipolar symptons?

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by klmno, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Does anyone have any ideas or experiences about how to make accommodations at school for the periods when difficult child is "restless", too active and talkative at school? I understand it must be disruptive, however, I now see a direct correlation with the "blips" I see at home and medication adjustments. The psychiatrist added Depakote to lithobid, which helped some, but we had to lower the dosage back down after it made him hostile, so now, here comes hyperness at school again. The teachers don;t really acknowledge this as a bipolar issue - they still look at it as bad behavior, even though it's clearly "periodic"- as in cycling.
  2. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Does he have a Behavioral Intervention Plan in place? There may be something in there that they've used in the past. There are many accomodations that can be put in place. Is he aware of physical stuff that lets him know that he's getting a little hyper? Is there a para in the class that can let him walk up and down the stairs a few times so that he can "burn it off" a little? Can he take his work to another room with a para and try taking breaks occasionally?

    Just a few ideas!

  3. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thank you , Ladies! We were waiting on private Ed Spec. to submit recommendations (I had a team evaluation him in Oct) to do the BIP so there isn't one in place yet. We'll be working on it soon. I used the web site Sheila suggested before I met with school district for this year's IEP and it was very helpful.

    I really like the idea of letting him take a break to release energy. There is a para in the room- I guess- it's an aide in collaborative classes. She is there for all kids on collaborative so I don't think she can leave with just one student. But, it seems like he should be able to go to the gym and run or something or just go talk someone's ear off for a little while.
  5. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Request that they provide a 1 to 1 para in the classroom for him so that they can be sure that he's accommodated for his "stress release" time.

  6. weatheringthestorm

    weatheringthestorm New Member

    I've found those little stress balls to be one of my greatest tools. They help kids divert some of their energy into squeezing them and it doesn't distract the others. It helps many kids concentrate as well. Chewing gum can help too. I know most schools still don't let kids chew gum, but our jr high does and it helps to some extent.

    If the energy is severe enough a standing "pass" to go walk it off should be put in place. We have kids that can be trusted to make a few laps, take only 5 min, etc and they don't need the one on one para. However, if this is really needed and your child can't handle it alone a one on one should be provided. All of this can be added to the BIP.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    These are good ideas! We're going to have an IEP meeting the week after holiday break is over. I was hoping to have written report from a team evaluation done in Oct. (privately) by then, but I can't get any info from this place anymore. When I call, which I've done several times, the person who answers just says she'll check with psychiatrist and call me right back, then never calls back. This isn't difficult child's regular psychiatrist, this is one at a place that does the team evaluations/assessments for mood disorders.

    Anyway, I'm still trying to get the school to fully understand and accept that difficult child's problems aren't all behavior driven, the behavior and grades are the effects, not the cause.
  8. jal

    jal Member

    Hello KLMNO,

    I haven't been around in a few months, but I wanted to address your situation as I have the same exact one. Some background: My son was diagnosis with-EOBD & ADHD at 4 1/2. He started kindergarten in the Fall of 07. I was in contact with the school district a year before that. We hounded them. They did an "evaluation" and said he did not qulaify for special services. We kept on them and they agreed to meet us again in the summer before school started. We had info from his psychiatrist, plus a new evaluation from the neuropsychologist. The Dir. of Pupil Services wanted to push a 504. We agreed to give him 1 month in Kindergarten and then meet again. I told tem @ that meeting we will be back here in 1 month writing an IEP. Well it only took 3 weeks in school and we were writing one.

    My son, since week 5 of school has his own para (they had to hire an extra one for his class), he gets movement breaks to help with his high energy and/or inappropriate behavior (normally 3X's, but yesterday upon the return to school it was 8). They offer a brushing program to him (helps more with Asperger's, but he likes it) and he also has a behavior program in place. My son is extremely smart and intelligent, but he gets highly over anxious and has trouble letting things go. Push for this, as it has truly made a difference. After having this in place for a month and a half I had a parent teacher conference that was so positive, it made my heart swell as every PPT meeting before seemed to focus on the negatives about him.

    I must say that though not every school district is as supportive, our first foray into this with our school district has been so positive. Everone has been helpful and supportive. Our team includes the Principal, Kindergarten teacher, SPED teacher, OC Therapist, Social Worker, School Nurse, my son's former daycare provider, my husband and myself.

    Best of luck to you.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, jal! It sounds like you've gotten quite a bit accomplished! My difficult child scores high on aptitude tests and can get good grades, most of the time. Sounds great, I know, but the downfall is that he intermittently has periods where he's too active or really low functioning and neuropsychologist testing results showed a clear problem in some areas, but teachers won't acknowledge it. Actually, even I thought the test results were a fluke at first until I realized that sometimes, he has these problems that if they were there all the time, he'd be classified with a different sort of learning disability. But, since it's intermittent, and other times he shows very high proficiency, the teachers say he just doesn't study or try- it's behavior oriented. I'm just now starting to get the IEP team to acknowledge anything else is going on (been on medications 2 years, been in psychiatric hospital, neuropsychologist testing done almost 2 years ago)- so I'm left with, ok, what accommodations would help that won't "stifle" him when he's not in this cycle. I can't imagine them EVER giving him his own para-