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The Educational Issues of Students with Bipolar Disorder



Papolos, Demitri F., and Janice Papolos. The Bipolar Child, Revised Edition. New York: Broadway Books, 2002.

Anderson, Winifred, Stephen Chitwood, and Diedre Hayden. Negotiating the Special Education Maze: A Guide for Parents and Teachers. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House, 1997.

Cutlet, Barbara Coyne. You, Your Child, and “Special” Education: A Guide to Making the System Work, 3rd Edition. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company, 1997.

Dornbush, Marilyn P., and Sheryl K. Pruitt. Teaching the Tiger: A Handbook for Individuals Involved in the Education of Students with Attention Deficit Disorders, Tourette Syndrome or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Duarte, CA: Hope Press, 1995.

Goldberg, Elkhonon. The Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Kay, Kiesa, ed. Uniquely Gifted: Identifying and Meeting the Needs of the Twice Exceptional Student. Gilsum, NH: Avocus Publishing, Inc., 2000.

Raity, John J. A User’s Guide to the Brain. New York: Pantheon Books, 2001.

Roberts, A.C., T.W. Robins, and L. Weiskrantz. The Prefrontal Cortex. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Siegal, Lawrence M. The Complete IEP Guide: How to Advocate for Your Special Ed Child, 2nd Edition. Berkley, CA: Nolo Press, 2002. (Indispensible when going through the IEP process).



Cohen, Jonathan D. et al. “Temporal Dynamics of Brain Activation During a Working Memory Task.” Nature 386 (1997):604-608.

Quackenbush, Doug, Stan Kutcher, et al. “Premorbid and Postmorbid School Functioning in Bipolar Adolescents: Description and Suggested Academic Interventions.” Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 41 (1996): 16-22.


For Educators

Anglada, Tracy. The Student With Bipolar Disorder: An Educator’s Guide. Available from: http://www.bipolar-children.bigstep.com/generic25.html. With few, but amazingly apt words, this brochure paints a big picture of what bipolar disorder is and how the symptoms--as well as how the side effects of the medications--affect the student in the classroom.

TeachingLD.Org - The new web site for the Division of Learning Disabilities for the Council of Teaching Exceptional Children, this should be a great resource for teachers who are working with children with bipolar disorder. Not only are there general discussion bulletin boards, but the site features information on research-based teaching strategies and approaches and interviews with experts in all aspects of learning disabilities. Particularly helpful to teachers with questions about the best way to work with children with bipolar disorder is the “Find a Colleague” section in which a teacher can build a profile and search a database in order to find other teachers and mentors who are dealing with a child of the same age with the disorder and then share knowledge of what has been effective. http://www.teachingLD.org


Websites At a Glance

To Learn More About IDEA Law and the IEP Process:


Important website that explains much about legal advocacy for children with special education needs. Free email newsletter, articles, cases, up-to-date information.

To Download a Model IEP Written Specifically for a Student with Bipolar

http://www.bipolarchild.com (click on “model IEP”)

http://www.askeric.org - ERIC is the Educational Resources Information Center, a federally-funded national information system that provides, through its 16 subject-specific clearinghouses, associated adjunct clearinghouses, and support components, a variety of services and products on a broad range of education-related issues.

For Information About Learning Disabilities and Executive Function Deficits:

http://www.ldonline.com - Comprehensive web site that explains the different learning disabilities, directs parents to resources, and has a new feature: Ldonline Yellow Pages—listing of schools (by state) that serve children with learning disabilities and ADHD.

http://www.schoolbehavior.com - Website of Dr. Leslie E. Packer has information about neurobiological conditions such as bipolar disorder, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, sensory integration difficulties, and executive function deficits with very helpful classroom tips and modifications.

http://www.nichcy.org - A national information and referral center that provides information on disabilities and disability-related issues for parents, educators, and professionals. Publications and information in English and Spanish, bulletin boards, etc.

To Locate an Educational Attorney:


State-by-state listing of attorneys who represent parents of children with disabilities.

To Locate an Educational Consultant:


Independent Educational Consultants Association lists reputable consultants all over the country.

To Locate Therapeutic Day and Boarding Schools: and Residential Treatment Centers:

Bridge to Understanding http://www.bridgetounderstanding.com

Peterson’s Private Secondary Schools http://www.petersons.com

Woodbury Reports Online
http://www.woodbury.com (here you’ll find the link to Struggling Teens.)

The American Association of Children’s Residential Centers http://www.aacrc-dc.org

This article was written by Janice Papolos (co-author of The Bipolar Child, Revised Edition), Mary Jane Hatton, and Sandi Norelli, (co-directors of the JBRF Educational Team), Christine E. Garcia, M.Ed., and Anne Marie Smith, M.Ed.
Copyright © 2002. All Rights Reserved.



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