I’m a mom of 3. My middle child is an 11year old son who has been diagnosed with autism. He is also predisposed to bi-polar and schizophrenia. I adopted him at birth and, unfortunately, he wasn’t provided prenatal care.
My son has been kicked out of 2 public schools and sent to a behavioral school which only made his issues worse as one of his conditions is mimicking. The behaviors that he learned there were horrendous as well as he was bullied because these students were not developmentally delayed.
I just recently was able to get him removed from there and FINALLY put into an autism classroom with only 5 other children and there is 1 teacher and 3 paras. It’s amazing and it is the first time in my son’s educational life that he is receiving an actual education. There is definitely a learning curve for my son as he has never had to participate in a classroom setting but is thriving.
Unfortunately, my marriage did not survive the trials and tribulations of raising a child with mental illness. However, his father is quite involved and more so than he ever was while we were married. They now have a good relationship which just makes my heart smile. His 2 siblings support him and do a great job “going with the flow” but let me tell you, it has been very hard. Over the years, he has been very violent to his siblings, me, our dog, and our babysitters. There was a time when I thought we were going to have to hospitalize him, but I wasn’t able to find a suitable facility for him. This left me with no option but to do all of his med changes in the home.
I put locks on his siblings doors and made “escape plans” for when things got out of control. This is not what you’d hope for in family life but we have made it to far 11 with him and we have his temperament relatively stable as of today. I know this will change as we are approaching puberty which scares me immensely!
We, as a family and me as a single parent, have been judged, stared at, and whispered about. This has made my passion for taking away the stigma of mental health in children a passion of mine.
I am sharing my story in hopes that it will help others know that they are not alone.
My child was nine before I finally realized that maybe I needed more help then I originally realized. She was always a “handful” but I just assumed that was a typical child. She thrived at school. She had friends and was decent to teachers and staff, enough that they considered her an average student, academically and personality-wise. It seemed at school she went un-noticed by adults but at home she had frequent mood swings. She could be happy for minutes to days then all of a sudden be screaming and yelling at me.
When she was happy I was happy. I am a single mom; it is just her and I, and our little dog. But when she was angry even I was scared. She would throw things and scream, “I hate you! I hate all of this!” When she was coming down from one of these fits it was as if nothing happened. One day she took a swing at me, hitting me in the eye. I knew that this wasn’t just normal behavior.
I made an appointment with her doctor to discuss her behavior. He suggested that she might have bipolar disorder. Maybe there WAS a reason for her behavior! He referred her to a local psychiatrist. From there we had an initial appointment where she was asked a ton of questions. Eventually, the psychiatrist agreed, she most likely had bipolar disorder. My daughter has begun a medication regimen and is seeing a therapist weekly.
She is doing much better. We are doing much better!
I often find myself awake at night with my eyes full of tears, crying out to God asking him, “Why? Why do I have to lie here in panic, why do I have to spend every waking second of my day full of anxiety?” We can ask God that question all we want, but the[Read More…]