Sunday, July 6, 2008

Childhood Bipolar & More - Online Resources

Here is a list of my favorite bipolar (plus ADHD and Sensory) resources on the web. Please feel free to suggest others in the comments section.

Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation
Otherwise known as CABF. Their mission is to "improve the lives of families raising children and teens living with bipolar disorder and related conditions." They have an extensive learning center and information on finding local support groups and Doctors. CABF has frequent live chats with a variety of experts. If you are interested in participating in research studies across the country, they provide lists of contacts. You need to become a member to take full advantage of the site, but it is a good one to have in your bag of tricks. Along with your membership, you will get a subscription to bpMagazine.

This is a small publication that offers a lot of good information in each issue. They tend to focus more on adult bipolar, but do not exclude pediatric bipolar. Each issue provides good information on the latest research and new pharmaceuticals. There are pages on the website where you can submit articles and essays about your own experiences.

The Bipolar Child
This site by Demirti Papolos, M.D. and Janice Papolos provides support for parents of bipolar children via a newsletter, FAQ's and lists of resources. They are advocates the Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation, of which Dr. Demirti is the Director of Research. The site also suggests an IEP model for bipolar students. These two are the authors of the well known, and often referred to, book The Bipolar Child. There is plenty of information about the book on their site. You can also schedule a consultation with Dr. Demirti Papolos online.

Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation
Basic information about juvenile bipolar. But more to the point, it offers you several ways to get involved in research studies, and walks you through the process.

Starfish Advocacy Association
They are a relatively new organization, providing support for parents (and teachers) on advocating for their mentally and neurologically disabled children. They have online classes and forums, extensive information on state laws, IEP's, etc. and loads of resource links. You can also hire an educational consultant via their website.

McMan's Depression and Bipolar Web
Award-winning online weekly newsletter offers superbly-written articles on the latest research, new therapies, social and legal issues, and book and movie reviews. This site also contains over two hundred articles, many on childhood-onset bipolar disorder." (From the online resource page of The Bipolar Child.) I really like this site; it has an attitude and a sense of humor. McManamy is himself bipolar and appears very knowledgeable. Very busy site with a lot of information.

NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
The nation's leading grassroots, family oriented advocacy organization for the mentally ill. NAMI is very active politically and fights against discrimination and for access to treatment.

Tourette Syndrome "Plus"
This site is useful for parents whose children have any number of disorders and who suffer from Executive Function deficits. Dr. Leslie E. Packer authors the site and provides help for organizing homework, estimating time and making transitions. Lots of resources on behaviors and solutions. Great educational resource for both parents and teachers (as there are many classroom resources listed).

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) is the go-to site (as well as their magazine) for people with ADHD or ADD. You'll find help on symptoms, treatments, programs and medications, as well as a variety of support options. You must join to receive the magazine. If any of your children have AD(H)D, this is a must read every month.

Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation
This organization conducts rigorous research into the causes, diagnosis and treatment of SPD (also known as SID - Sensory Integration Dysfunction). They provide education for those with SPD, their families, therapists, teachers and policy makers. They are advocates for the recognition of SPD as a special need.

Sensory Nation
If you need a link to a Sensory Integration Resource, you will find it here! If you know of one they don't have, there is a link to email it to them, and soon, the link will appear. It would be surprising not to find a sensory resource you are looking for here.

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