New to this and need REAL advice

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Sandgirl310, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. Sandgirl310

    Sandgirl310 New Member

    Hello all,
    I am new to this forum, not sure about all the different abbreviations and stuf but I have a real problem, and am looking for some good advice. I have a 11 year old daughter s is diagnosed with Bipolar and depression. She just got out of a hospital today for talking about wanting to kill herself and not wanting to live. She spent 5 days there and does not want to return to her current school. She is in Middle school and the kids treat her so bad because she is different and boisterous, loud and happy and just not like the other kids. She gets very sad and just decided she doesnt want to be alive anymore. Well, now Im really confused. My daughter has an IEP scheduled for this Wednesday. Question is does anyone know, can I request her to go to a more controled school with less kids, and with teachers who know how to handle a child with emotional problems. Does the schools have something like that in the IEP results. Do they offer anything like that, does anyine know. I am so confused on what to do next, she refuses to go back to that school, she is afraid to be teased and ridiculed, and I am not sure what the school should have to do to help about that. I would appreciate any feedback, advice and help. My daughter has a psychiatrist and a therapist she has been seeing for a long time, and is on geodon and lexapro. So she is truelly in need of a different environment, just not sure what they are supposed to do for us, and what I am supposed to do. Thank you all
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    To answer your question, yes, it can happen. An IEP will be written to define your daughter's needs and those needs will dictate her school placement. Placement decisions, in other words, emanate from the IEP.

    I also want to ask you about your daughter's medications and recent hospitalization. Were any medication changes made in the hospital? Did you know that Lexapro can cause suicidal ideation in children? Was there any talk of discontinuing this medication to see if her suicidal talk stopped?

    Furthermore, children with BiPolar (BP) tend to do worse with SSRI antidepressants on board. They typically need a first-line mood stabilizer (Lithium, Depakote, Lamictal, Trileptal, Tegretol) plus an atypical antipsychotic like Geodon. SSRI antidepressants often destabilize kids with BiPolar (BP) even with these mood stabilizing medications in place.

    Welcome! I hope you find a lot of support here.
  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Hi! I am in very much the same boat as you.

    Yes you can ask for a school with a more therapeutic setting, and that just might be the best thing for her.

    Hugs, you are not alone.
  4. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome! Yes, the IEP can be written to provide a school setting much like you described. Be careful, that she is not placed in a Behaviorally challenged environment but an emotional one. They often are combined. I do not think it would be in her best interest to be in a class with behaviorally challenged children.

    I agree with Smallworld about the anti-depressant possibly causing the suicidal thoughts. Has anyone mentioned this? If not, I would wonder why. There is a Black Box warning on anti-depressants for children. So, it should be no surprise to the medical professionals you are working with.
  5. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Good morning & welcome. Smallworld & Busy have offered all the info I would so listen to both of them.

    Again welcome - hope we can help you find your way with your difficult child.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Welcome! You posted on one of my threads and asked what "difficult child" means. It means our "Gift from God", which is how we refer to our child/children who are challenging to raise. There is a list of abbreviations in the FAQ section that is helpful for "newbies".

    I agree with Busywend as far as your current question. Some schools don't have the best accommodations for emotionally troubled students so I would exhaust efforts to make things work in the mainstream setting first, unless you do believe that this is about to drive her to suicide. There are some great materials that you can use to help "educate" the IEP team on ways they can support her more at school. She should have someone at school available at all times to talk to. They should be taking more steps to minimize teasing and so forth from other kids. I can see wanting to get her out of that environment and I know that there is only so much the personnel can do to curb the typical cruelty from some other kids, but it really irks me that a troubled student can't attend a regular school because he or she was basicly bullied out. If it were me, I'd be breathing down the necks of the IEP team and school personnel. Of course, if she is at the brink of harming herself over this, I would not let her go back in that school.
  7. TPaul

    TPaul Idecor8

    Just wanted to add my welcome to you for finding the board. Feel free to ask questions, you will get great advice. There are many here that have raised thier kids to adulthood and have been around the block a time or two with a difficult child.

    You will find it helpful to know that others are out there that understand what daily life with a difficult child is like. They care, they listen and most importantly they understand and offer heart felt help to one desperately needing a life line.

    Hugs and good wishes your way
  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Just wanted to add my welcome!
  9. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome. You've gotten some good advice here. I wanted to add that while a therapeutic school placement can be approved through an IEP, I found it tough to get without trying other things first... an alternative in the meantime is to request your daughter be put into some collaborative Special Education classes (smaller class size, extra teachers) at her current school, if she'll go along with that. klmno's suggestion of someone available for her to talk to at the school is important too.. we had in place was the ability for my daughter to leave class with a special pass to speak to a guidance counselor if she felt overwhelmed. It was impportant for her to have a safety net when she felt like she wasn't copying in the classroom.

    Good luck.
  10. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Ya know, I think your gut is telling you the right thing. I know our daughter needed a smaller classroom size...a different environment.

    I ended up paying for it all myself, really. First, I partially homeschooled her. She went to public school for two classes and I did the rest at home. Actually, that worked out very well for her, but was very hard on ME.

    Later, I sent her to a private school..but academically, this school wasn't that great for her.

    If I had to do it all over again, I think I would push very hard for the right IEP and then perhaps get a tutor here and there to help difficult child. I would push very hard to change schools if needed, even consider getting an attorney.

    My years partially homeschooling were good, but it was probably good that I only did it for two years.

    The public schools should find a good placement...sometimes they are hesitatant o move children around and have had bad experiences with- parents trying to place kids in the wrong placement or take advantage of them.

    But the truth is, many, if not all of our kids, DO need a very special placement, and sometimes they need to try different things and they should be working closely with us.

    So, try to have patience with- teachers and administrators, but at the same time, be willing and able to speak up fervently for the needs of your child and have documentation when and where necessary.

    Keep in regularcontact with her prescribing physician and consider getting her a talk therapist, 'cause as she hits the teen years, it is likely to get even 'rougher.' I agree, double check about the safety of the antidepressant she is taking. Some here like Lamictal....helps with depression and stabilization (although everyone is different, that's for sure).

    Also, the book The Bipolar Child is totally awesome. Another good one is Surviving Manic Depression.

    In the meantime, please take extra good care of yourself and your spousal relationship.
  11. miles2go

    miles2go Member

    I would add, if it hasn't been said already, that bringing her psychiatrist and/or therapist to the IEP meeting can be very effective, if you can manage that.
    A lot will depend on what resources your district has available, but the accommodations you mentioned (controlled environment, special classes/teachers/schools) are done in many districts.