Mini Melt Down Yesterday at School

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TPaul, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. TPaul

    TPaul Idecor8

    Levi had a mini melt down at school yesterday. While there where transitioning from one class to another some of the kids who got to the room early before Levi where acting up. The teacher decided to punish the whole class and have them write something. All this happened in the room before Levi ever got to the room. When he arrived and the teacher told him that everyone would have to do the punishment, he became very upset and melted down. It was not a severe melt down, but the first one since beginning the medications.

    wife was called and he was sent home for the last half of the day because of the melt down. Levi is super touchy about what he perceives as injustices done to him, which is a natural response for anyone. He has always handled these kind of situations badly.

    In his defense he really should not have been included in this punishment. He tends to have had problems with this teacher or teachers for the transition from main line class to the choir - PE teachers. I am seeing that with his main room teacher that the problems are not occurring to the degree that they happen with the other two classes. I am beginning to wonder if I need to see if he can try some other class, ( not sure with it being just 4th grade though).

    The school really is not transition well to Levi's being diagnosed with BiPolar (BP). He had so much trouble last year, and then at the beginning of this year right from the first few days of class and on the bus to and from school. I think they have a preconceived perception that what has been the problem with Levi has been, for lack of a better way of saying it, he has been a trouble maker and that he acts this way on purpose.We know that this is not the case with children with BiPolar (BP).

    When Candy went to pick him up they where complaining that he is always tired and wanting to sleep. They know that he has started on these medications and that the early side affects are sleepiness till one becomes adjusted to the medications. It is like they are not being patient enough and understanding that his body has to adjust to the medications. They surely do not want him having trouble at school on almost a daily basis with his anger, yet now they are complaining about him???? Not really understanding why they are not seeing the help of the medications and being more understanding.

    I guess that we are going to have to pursue getting him and EIP going. I have been a little hesitant because I feel that Levi will have trouble with the concept of being in a Special Education class away from his other classmates. He is so sensitive to what others think about him, and he just wants to fit in and be cool with the others. However, is this is what it takes to be able to allow him to have the environment that he needs to learn and prosper in his education, then I will do what I can to help him through it.

    If anyone could suggest what course or thoughts on the BiPolar (BP) condition and being able to get an IEP with a BiPolar (BP) diagnosis, it would be much appreciated. I have lots of things going for the rest of the week and am not sure how much I will be able to check the boards, but I will check for messages and read post and suggestions as I can.

    T. Paul
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Special Education (an IEP) is a service based on need, not a place. It does not necessarily mean your son will be separated from his classmates in a Special Education classroom. In fact, the trend seems to be to keep kids mainstreamed as much as possible.

    There is no one-size-fits all to an IEP. In fact, the I in IEP stands for Individualized, which means the plan is tailored to each individual child. So there is no way I can tell you what services and accommodations Levi needs just because he has BiPolar (BP). My own son has BiPolar (BP), but his needs will be different from your son's because they are different children.

    If Levi is tired from his medications, there are several accommodations that could help. For example, if he's nodding off in class, he could be allowed to get up to get a drink a water and walk a lap though the hallways. A high schooler who is sleepy from medications in the morning might have it written into his IEP that he should have PE first thing in the morning to wake him up.

    My oldest and youngest have both benefitted from having a "resource" class, which is a daily study skills class led by a special educator. This class helps them organize their materials, study for tests, make sure they are caught up with classwork, start homework for the next day, etc. It's something to consider for Levi's IEP.

    A helpful website to check out is
  3. Christy

    Christy New Member

    The Bipolar Child by Demitri and Janice Papolos has a section on finding the best school program, initiating the iep process, developing iep goals, and even a sample letter that parents can send to teachers to explain bipolar disorder and how it may appear in their child. The book is an excellent resource for parenting bipolar children.

    Good luck~Christy
  4. hoobear

    hoobear Guest

    I'm sorry Levi had a bad day. My son has had a lot of them so been there done that :tongue:. He may just need a 504 plan for accomodations instead of an IEP. You should call the head of special education for your school district and discuss your needs if you feel that the school is not being helpful. As has already been said, even if you do have an IEP, it doesn't necessarily mean that Levi will have to leave his classroom. All it means is that there will be services, accomodations and goals to allow him to be successful. None of the other kids will know. Some children need to leave the classroom during the day for help in math or reading. Levi may need to leave to head-off a meltdown. It's part of managing the illness.

    When my son was in a regular classroom and needed a break, it was worked out that he could go see the social worker and vent in her office. If she was busy, then he could continue on to the main office for a few minutes of cool down time and then go back to class. Every teacher in that school knew my son (LOL), but his classmates thought he was just running errands.

    I know it's hard. I have BiPolar (BP) and so does my son. I understand the disease and how difficult it is to watch it in someone you love. I hope tomorrow is a better day for all of you.

    Keep posting!