New excerpt from the upcoming book Bipolar Lemonade.
Carol knew well by then that Rebecca was troubled. She’d grown from an infant who did everything more slowly than her peers to a toddler incapable of playing on her own to a preschooler who sat in her car seat staring straight ahead while her mother attempted to interest her in the world outside. When she did engage it was often in a wild rush of adrenaline or with violent emotional outbursts that left everyone exhausted.
In school Rebecca quickly fell behind the other kids her age. Teachers understood something was up but moved her through the grades, assuring Carol that her striking, social, normal appearing daughter was easily distracted but would soon catch up. By the end of fifth grade, though, when her friends were reading Harry Potter, Rebecca was still struggling through picture books. Athletic by nature, she joined a soccer team but couldn’t coordinate herself enough to connect with the ball. Friendships became difficult as it grew more obvious that Rebecca was different.
Carol’s growing frustration with the school system reached a peak as her daughter started middle school. Rebecca was far behind academically and struggling socially as well, and friends had warned Carol that the school would not take time to understand her daughter. Teachers at the school told Carol they thought Rebecca was lazy. At one point, Carol hired a lawyer, thinking she’d sue to get her daughter the attention she needed. The lawyer declined the case after she saw Rebecca–a judge would never believe this normal-looking girl was so troubled, she said.
The rest of Carol’s story will be published in Bipolar Lemonade, the book, due out soon.