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How to Talk to Your Teachers About Your Bipolar Disorder if You Are a Teen

Steps

Using Available Resources

  1. Discuss the conversation with your parents.Your parents can be a great resource when planning to speak to your teacher about your bipolar disorder. It's important to get them involved right at the start.
    • Explain to your parents why it's important to you that you have this conversation with your teacher.
    • Ask them for help in setting up a time to meet with your teacher and other school officials.
    • Listen to what they have to say. Your parents can offer valuable perspective and good advice about your situation. Talk to them about your concerns and listen to their responses.
    • Invite them to participate in the meeting if you want them present when you talk to your teacher.
  2. Contact your school’s counseling department.Sometimes your bipolar disorder may qualify you for specialized instruction. Contact your school about speaking to someone that handles programs for students with disabilities. They will be able to discuss your diagnosis and aid in determining what kinds of accommodations are called for and available.
    • Ask them if they can assist you in discussing your condition with your teacher if that makes you feel more comfortable.
    • If you are found eligible for a special education by the school district's evaluation team, you may qualify for an Individual Education Plan (IEP) that is accompanied by a number of programs that receive federal funding to ensure you have every opportunity at the education you deserve.
    • You may not qualify for or need significant accommodations from the school’s administrative staff, but they can assist you in determining that.
  3. Ask about the accommodations that are available to you in the classroom.This way you will not rely on the teacher have an in depth knowledge on the subject.
    • You may be able to secure preferential seating that keeps you closer to the teacher or the door if you may need to leave class often.
    • You could request to be assigned a volunteer assistant. This classmate could help you with a wide variety of things.
    • You may be granted access to educational materials or course materials on disk for you to access at different times.
    • You can request private feedback from your teachers about your academic progress.
  4. Ask about exam and assignment accommodations you may qualify for.If your bipolar disorder creates issues with being able to complete exams or other assignments, your school may offer some of these programs to assist you.
    • They may provide extended times to complete tests or assignments.
    • They could offer an individual proctor for your exams or a private area to completes yours in.
    • They might have alternate exams or assignments in lieu of oral presentations.
  5. Research Section 504 of the Federal Civil Rights Laws.This set of laws was established for people that do not require specialized instruction, but may need some accommodations made to ensure they have all of the education opportunities they deserve.
    • Unlike the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that has certain requirements, Section 504 does not guarantee an individualized education plan, but instead that accommodations will be made relative to your medical needs.
    • This law is designed to ensure you are not discriminated against due to any impairments your disorder can cause you and provides many ways schools can adjust to meet your needs.
  6. Make sure you’re well versed in your condition and limitations.It’s easy to get lost in all of the information out there about bipolar disorder, but you want to make sure you know the facts about your situation before approaching your teacher. It may help you to better explain your needs or even answer questions if your teacher isn’t familiar with the disorder.
    • The International Bipolar Foundation provides many resources for people suffering from bipolar disorder as well as their families. It can be a great resource to learn about your condition, and even provide you with other helpful information.
    • The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance can provide educational resources as well as support groups and up to date information on treatment options.

Planning Your Conversation

  1. Use a “Process Talk” to set a time to meet.Having a “process talk” means to talk about talking. You may not want to approach your teacher about your bipolar disorder during normal class hours or you might want to ensure they will have the time to have the conversation. Approach your teacher and ask to set a time and place that you can meet to have the conversation.
    • You may not need to explain what the conversation will be about if you would rather not bring it up at the time, but emphasize that the issue is important and you’d like to be able to speak privately.
    • If you’re comfortable telling them that you’d like to discuss your bipolar disorder, it may provide them with the opportunity to brush up on what they can do to provide you with support.
    • If you’re nervous or uncomfortable, let them know. They may be able to help ease your concerns.
  2. Prepare for the conversation ahead of time.If you would like to bring print outs or articles that you feel may help convey what you’re hoping to, feel free to do so. Write down a list of things you want to cover as well as any questions you’d like your teacher to address. This way you’ll cover what’s important even if you get nervous.
    • It can help to discuss what happens when you are having a difficult time, as well as what they can do to help.
    • If you have a family plan or treatment plan to help you cope with your bipolar disorder, it could be beneficial to explain it to your teacher.
    • You might want to specify who you are comfortable with the teacher sharing this information with.
    • Bring a list of accommodations the school offers that you feel may benefit you.
  3. Prepare yourself to do some talking.You may be nervous about discussing this with your teacher. It isn’t unusual to feel emotional when sharing something personal with others, so take a deep breath and prepare yourself to discuss the disorder as well as your challenges. Remind yourself why having this conversation is important to you.
    • Be prepared to educate your teacher on the specifics of bipolar disorder. They may not have much experience with it and may be unsure about what challenges you face.
    • Bring brochures or print outs to help clarify or support your discussion. It can help keep you on track as well as providing the teacher something to read if they’re having trouble understanding you.

Having the Talk

  1. Let them know what you hope to get out of this conversation.You chose to talk to your teacher about your bipolar disorder for a reason. Make sure you discuss it with your teacher and you’re clear about what you feel would help you.
    • Tell your teacher about changes you think could help you feel comfortable in the classroom and better able to learn.
    • Let your teacher know about programs your school offers that you feel would benefit you.
    • Explain what elements of school can be challenging and why. Your teacher may have recommendations that could help.
  2. Plan to meet again to discuss your progress.Before your meeting is over, make a plan to meet up again after a little time goes by to discuss how the changes put into place have affected your time in school.
    • Ask your teacher to set a follow up date for the two of you discuss the things that have changed and how they have affected you.
    • Tell your parents about what you covered in the conversation if they aren't there. Keep them in the loop about any changes you and your teacher decide on.
    • Ask your teacher if you can approach him or her if you feel there's something else you need to discuss moving forward.

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  • Decide ahead of time if you would like to discuss any medications you may take with the teacher.
  • Talk to your parents about your decision to speak to your teacher about your bipolar disorder.





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Date: 12.12.2018, 21:54 / Views: 54294