Date of Award

Fall 2012

Project Type


Program or Major

Early Childhood Education Special Needs Option

Degree Name

Master of Education

First Advisor

Leslie Couse


Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder and other mental health disorders has grown in recent years. As early childhood professionals meet children with these diagnoses, they face challenges in supporting a new population of children with special needs. This paper discusses current research on prevalence in early childhood classrooms, comorbid disorders, and current supports. Educators and professionals currently working in PreK-3rd grade were surveyed about the prevalence and supports for Pediatric Bipolar Disorder (PBD) and related disorders. Results of this study reflect the research that suggest children with PBD may present slightly different behaviors than those with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder. In order to support these behaviors, educators reported finding the greatest success through the use of methods contingent upon positive reinforcement.