What is Bipolar?

According to the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundations' website, Bipolar disorder (also known as manic-depression) is a serious but treatable medical illness. It is a disorder of the brain marked by extreme changes in mood, energy, thinking and behavior.

Unlike adults whose cycles tend to be made on a predictable cycle of maybe a couple times a year, children tend to suffer from more rapid-cycling, maybe even multiple times with in the same day, and hypomania, showing signs of both mania and depression at the same time.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Twinkle Theme by Mike B.

This week we experienced a new high in Mike's life. He participated in the Elementary Solo Music Festival here in Wichita, KS. It's been a long year, but Mike did great during his performance on "Twinkle Theme" on his String Bass. He really enjoys his playing, though practice can be stressful as he wants to get it perfect.
Here's a video of the performance from Thursday. This is his first time with accompaniment and a tuned instrument, so it made it that much better.

With all the ups and downs that we've experienced, we were hesitant to get Mike started on an instrument this year. After much discussion with his strings teacher, deliberation among ourselves, and agreements with Mike, we decided the Bass would be a good start. It's big enough he can't throw it across the room, durable due to size, and the strings are far enough apart for his fingers/hands that are fairly good size for a fifth grader.

It was a slow start and mid-year he wasn't going to continue on next year, but he has come around. He's practicing a minimum of weekly and has been accepted into the Arts Magnet Middle School here in Wichita. He is very excited for next year.

More to come on this school year, but wanted to share our high achievements.


  1. I recently began following your blog... hope you don't mind. My name is Janice. I have 3 children and a stepson. Elijah is 6 y.o diagnosed ADHD, BP, SPD, and PDD-NOS. Charlie, my stepson age 15 dx: Mood Disorder NOS, ADHD, PTSD, and ODD. It is good to hear what somebody else with a child with BP is going through daily.

  2. Hello! I just found your blog (writing on mine and cruising around) when I should have been grading grad students' papers! I am a professor in special ed and have worked with kids and taught professionals about this stuff for years. Then, 5 years ago I started living it with my daughter who was diagnosed with BP after hospitalizations, etc. etc. etc. etc. We have finished a book and are working to get it published. We travel all over the country speaking about this issue. I am so proud of your son, my daughter and all the other "youth voices" out there. We do a presentation on bipolar and the importance of self-advocacy. You might want to check out our website, www.lineacinda.com and our blogs. Your son may find her last entry, "My bipolar checklist" interesting. Take good care of yourself. You have so much going on and can likely relate to my "meanderings" this morning on my own blog. I will keep a read on this site! Thank you! PS I presented and trained teachers in Wichita 3 years ago!!