Saturday, April 17, 2010

Update part 3: new insights, maybe

After all the trauma of the blood test, the EEG went surprisingly well. Of course, it helped that there were no needles involved, and Bearhug was actually kind of intrigued at the idea of taking a "recording" of his brain.

He was supposed to be sleep-deprived for the test so he'd sleep for part of it. I stayed up with him to keep him company and make sure he didn't fall asleep early. We made the most of it - he couldn't have any sugar so we had pretzels and played the wii (well, mostly he played and I watched, lol) :).

Dh went in with him for the test. He did reasonably well, although he resisted going to sleep even after being so tired. Figures.

And then we waited.

About a week or so later, the results were in. Blood test - normal. EEG - normal. Nice to know, but we were pretty much back to square one.

In the meantime, I had scheduled our initial appointment with a psychologist. He wanted to meet with us first before meeting with Bearhug, so I went (dh had a conflict). I described what's been going on, and gave him a copy of reports from the school psychologist (they do a full evaluation every three years which just happened to be this year) and his resource teacher. Upon reading their reports and listening to mine, he asked a few more questions and then told me it sounded very much like Bearhug has bipolar disorder.

I wasn't expecting that, but as he explained the signs it did seem to fit. He said it also sounds like Bearhug has ADHD and that it can be difficult to distinguish between ADHD and bipolar in children, but that the rages we see with Bearhug are common to bipolar but typically are not seen in children with ADHD.

It's not an official diagnosis as he hasn't actually met Bearhug yet, but it does give us something to explore through further evaluations as a possible explanation for what Bearhug is going through. If that is the case, he will likely need medication.

As you can imagine, I have tried to find as much information as I can since then about bipolar disorder in children, particular in children who also have autism and sensory integration disorder. I haven't really gone into all the detail yet of some of the other "episodes" Bearhug has had, but some of the descriptions I'm reading from parents of bipolar children sound familiar.

I guess we'll know more when we meet with the psychiatrist again, and when the psychologist actually meets with Bearhug in person.

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Anonymous said...

Reading about the blood draw gave me a sadness for the little guy and you.

I don't know what to say about the diagnosis suggestion. I pray you have a really really good psychiatrist. Barbara

Elizabeth Channel on April 20, 2010 at 11:45 PM said...

OK, I know that was not fun to hear. But let me just say that my brother and uncle are bipolar and both are doing just fine with meds and all. With the family connection, we are constantly being met with that as a consideration for E, too.

Thinking of you, friend.

Anonymous said...



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I'm a mom of three boys on the autism spectrum, 11-yr-old identical twins and a 7-yr-old. My husband is a SAHD.


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