Bipolar disorder in children and teens can also result in various forms of learning disorders. Being a bipolar student can force your child to face significant challenges in learning, with the most significant being the inability to prevent from falling behind due to missed days at school during the worst of episodes. As a matter of fact, the very medications that are given to the bipolar student, can often present side effects which will most certainly affect his or her learning abilities. Drowsiness is one of the most common which causes the sufferer to have prominent difficulty when trying to pay attention. It is also common that children with bipolar disorder also become diagnosed with other frustrating learning disabilities such as ADHD.
Public schools are sometimes overcritical when dealing with a bipolar student as they often cause difficulties for their teachers and fellow classmates (unintentionally, of course). So if you are going to keep your child in his regular school program, discuss his or her condition with his teachers, school counselor, and principal to be sure that they are being treated as you would like. Ask to see their official policy as it relates to handling a bipolar student, and get an idea on what training and background they have to manage students with mental disorders. Everything may be easily setup by sitting down to discuss schooling with your child’s professional treatment counselor. Some bipolar students do well enough under treatment to remain in their “regular” classes, in fact the self esteem issues that can be caused by removing these students from their school, friends and classmates, can be detrimental to their recovery. On the other hand, many children can not function as a bipolar student in a regular class setting, and need to be removed from that environment and placed in a specialty school or residential program specifically designed to handle their unique needs.
Regardless of what educational decisions you find right for you and your child one thing must remain the same. You support in their struggles as a bipolar student should be unending as they will go through many ups and downs. Between dealing with the symptoms and dealing with the judgments of other students they will need more positive reinforcement than other children in their class. That being said being a bipolar student will not interfere with their future, as it has the potential of being just as bright, if not brighter, than others.