Another question about hypomania....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    difficult child's case manager from school called and kept me on the phone for over an hour- asking if we could put off the iep meeting. Now really, if we had that much to discuss and still weren't through it all, shouldn't we have an iep meeting? My plans of wathcing tv with difficult child as a reward for completing his stuff and then going over algebra went right down the tubes.

    Anyway, one of the things that came up was she said she wanted to switch him from the learning strategies class he's in now to her learning strategies class. (This is a study hall, but one for kids on an IEP so they can focus on whatever areas of difficulty or make-up work they need help with.) I had no problem with that, if difficult child was ok with it, but she said "my class has more structure and would be better for him because there is less room to move around and use that energy". Ok, on first thought that made perfect sense. However, difficult child has been hypomanic for over 2 weeks (although it appears to be coming back down the past couple of days- and I had told her this.)

    But keep in mind that people at this school have NO concept of mood cycling or hypomania, etc. So, my question is, is it a reasonable expectation that adding more structure will "reel in" hypomania? I understand that lack of structure, routine, etc., can or might cause it. But, if a kid is hypomanic, should we be looking at adding a more structured environment (that he might fail in OR that might keep him on track) or should we be looking for a way and time for him to get some of that energy out appropriately?

    I sincerely do not know if this is the right answer. I can tell you that if my son is hypomanic at home, telling him to come in the house and sit down will NOT make the energy go away. It will result in more escalation of some sort.

    I'm wondering what other's experiences have been and if you think this is a good approach or if you think this is just inadvertently setting difficult child up for failure and frustration?
  2. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I just saw your post. I think structure would be good, but it HAS to be very supervised structure. It would also depend on how much odd stuff your difficult child has going on. With my difficult child, if he is off at all he needs more structure because he will just find trouble otherwise. I don't know if reel in is the term I would use, but I would want to harness that energy and put it good use. Get the paper done, or whatever.

    I can see where telling your son to come in the house and sit down would be a disaster, but what if you told him you needed his help to do whatever? And then you did it together?

    I would be leary if the school personnel are not familiar with him, or with mood cycling. The best teacher I found for my difficult child is like steel covered with rubber. She knows when to be hard and when to let him bounce around the rules. That is hard to find.

    Good luck, and I hope the cycling stops soon.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I guess it would depend on the type of structure.

    With my difficult child 2, the more resistance he gets when hypomanic, the more he's going to push back and likely escalate. Fortunately, that seems to be limited to home for now...

    husband I believe is very similar. When he gets like that, any hint of opposition or resistance to what he wants to do and we're headed for a meltdown.

    I'll be interested in what others have to say here.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    gcvmom, that is what I'm thinking will (or might) happen with difficult child- when he's hyper at school and they treat him like they just expect him to stop acting that way and they try to handle it by making the environment more confining, this could definitely make things worse. If they acknowledge that this is what is going on with him (at least in their own minds- not necessarily with a conversation with difficult child), then either find a way to let him get some energy out for 15 mins before sitting down and focusing, or talking with him about the lesson (letting him talk-and talk- and talk as loong as it's about school work), it might be more effective.

    But, it seemed she didn't want to have an IEP meeting because she and his teachers want to get to know him better. I said I could provide them with info. and told her 2 people who worked well with difficult child last year that I'm sure could provide them insights and suggestions. One was his cm and one was his accelerated math teacher (who was also at iep meetings a lot), and I'm sure they both would be happy to help with this transition. She acted like this might step on some people's toes because the teachers could take it like other teachers were trying to tell them how to teach their class.

    I just don't get this- the kid is on an iep- they should be wanting whatever background info they can get. Then she tells me how long she's been doing this- yeah- well how many have come in there with a BiPolar (BP) diagnosis? Probably not a lot since they haven't been diagnosis'ing this in kids for all that long and up until the past couple years, I doubt many parents would go to the school and announce that diagnosis to the iep team. But, I'm kind of over that. It is what it is and it shouldn't be difficult child having to hide because of their lack of information or understanding. They should be catching up on it, in my humble opinion.

    It just leaves me thinking that she's another person that believes one form of management works with all kids, no matter what their issue or diagnosis, and I'm convinced that isn't true. If it were, there would be no iep.