Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Larissa was scheduled to have her evaluation in August but we were on the "call" list for cancellations. I received a call last night asking if I could get there at 8:30 this morning. The office is an hour away so it was close but we made it.
Genetics......what can I say, we knew what risk factors our children had when we adopted them. We knew that both of the kids were already showing signs of bipolar. Part of our adoption agreement included medicaid. Along with medicaid there is a medical fund we can tap into if we need to get therapy that is not covered. We may just have to use that extra fund.
Larissa has anxiety issues (as expressed with her selective mutism) and she came by that honestly. She also has bipolar and possibly something new to me, intermittent explosive disorder. Never heard of that one but I am researching it. I was told to also be aware of schizophrenic symptoms and just watch during puberty (another genetic issue we were aware of).
Why do I bring these up? Because it is very important when adopting from foster care to have as much information as possible about the biological parents mental illnesses. Because our case went on for three years we were able to get psych evals on the mom and a lot of behavioral information on the dad. Very valuable information for our children.
Keep in mind that if the bios have a drug addiction problem they just might be self medicating a mental illness issue. They may not be aware that they have a mental illness. Being informed, proactive and observant allows for the opportunity to break the cycle, treating any mental illnesses early can make a huge difference.

We can't do anything about the genetics our children were given. However, we can teach coping skills, get interventions whether therapeutic or through medications and find compensations. The doctor today had an interesting observation on genetics; he said that genetics gave us bad eyesight (we both wear glasses), however we use glasses to compensate for it. We don't walk around blind because genetically we were given poor eyesight. So the trick to mental illness is to find what works to compensate for it, there is hope for a normal life.

For Larissa we are first going to find a new neurologist. Her seizures are not under control. She still has them every night. The neurologist just keeps adding more meds and upping the dosage. The neurologist also does not believe that children can have bipolar or that selective mutism is real. We feel that she needs to have a doctor who treats the whole child, not just a symptom. The neurologist in Texas wanted to put her in the hospital and find the medicine that stopped the seizures. We were in the middle of moving and didn't have time to do that. This neurologist here has not done that. We were given two different neurologists who have the facilities to do that. So on Friday we will take Larissa back to our doctor for a referral to one of those neurologists. We also have the names of two psychologists to look into. There is also a neuropsychologist in Charlotte who is a possible option. I actually like that idea because he would treat more of the entire child.
It was a good day because we received some answers and verification of our concerns. More importantly we have a plan of action.
Looks like it will be a very busy summer for me.

1 comment:

  1. It's always a relief to be given a diagnosis and have someone else validate your concerns.