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Synopsis

By the time Jay was about a year and a half old, it was not unusual for me to wake up at any hour of the night to find eggs dumped all over the floor of the kitchen or even see the entire refrigerator emptied onto the living-room floor. Through the eyes of a toddler, eggs have an uncanny resemblance to baseballs. Jay would take an egg from the refrigerator just to throw it against the wall while yelling “Ball, ball!” Before her son turned two years old, author Tara Nicole Scott Brunson knew that little Jay did not act quite like other children his age. Inquisitive, agile, and very active, Jay struggled with behavior problems, and Brunson wanted to know how she could help her son thrive. This memoir follows her ten-year journey of gaining a medical diagnosis to explain Jay’s unusual actions. Understanding a Bipolar Child narrates the stories of Jay’s young life. In it, Brunson tells of the family’s interactions with teachers and the school, as well as the creation of individualized education plans. She describes doctor visits, intense tests, the trial of more than thirty different medications, and the eventual diagnosis of bipolar disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Brunson delivers her personal story to help guide other parents who are experiencing the same issues with their own children. She demonstrates that there are ways to seek and find both diagnosis and treatment in order to help the children gain more control over their lives.

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