How can I Support a Student with Bipolar Disorder in School?

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Special attention needs to be taken to ease learning for students with bipolar disorder in school.Bipolar Disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood energy. It can also make it hard for someone to carry out day-to-day tasks, such as going to school or hanging out with friends.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. They can result in damaged relationships, poor school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.

This mood disorder can involve sharp swings from episodes of manic “highs” to periods of depressive “lows” or a mixed state in which manic energy combines with the depressed mood.

In many cases children with bipolar disorder are very bright but have difficulty performing to their full potential. The ideal classroom would be small in size yet appropriate for the child’s intellectual level. The student may need to spend part of the day in a resource or special education room. This type of alternative placement might be considered if such a placement is temporary until a greater level of stability can be achieved.

Some strategies to help those with bipolar disorder in school are:

  • Identify and Lessen Extreme Mood Triggers
  • Develop a Classroom Plan for Disruptive Behavior
  • Avoid Manic Arguments
  • Adjust Homework and Schoolwork Requirements

Learn Moreā€¦ Take this course: Recognizing Early-Onset Mental Health Disorders in Children

Discuss Here: How can you enhance the learning experience for a student with bipolar disorder in school?

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