Early warning signs of BD in 2 yr old

I am an early childhood educator and one of my students is showing some bipolar warning signs. She is almost 2 years old. She often has EXTREME difficulty with unwanted transitions and has a very hard time coping with me telling her "no". She goes into an uncontrollable, violent rage when she gets angry. Kicking, screaming "no", punching, she'll bang her head on the floor, sometimes for as long as an hour before she calms down. Then immediately she will become extremely happy. She'll run around the class room with a giant smile on her face, and laugh, jump.. almost to the point where she's moving too fast.

Myself, her parents and my coworkers all approach this behavior the same way.. we pick our battles, but we do enforce rules and boundaries (ex: its time to go inside its too cold outside). My question is... what can i do at her early age to help her?


With this kind of behavior in a two year old, safety is almost always the primary concern. So setting limits and enforcing rules and boundaries is good, because it keeps her and the other children safe.

Another strategy might be to start a dialog about feelings. What they might be when she is behaving the way she is behaving. I would just start labeling them for her, just as a running commentary, because they are likely to get overwhelming and confusing for her, whatever her diagnosis ultimately is, and working on putting the infrastructure in place for naming feelings will be beneficial. You wont want to be doing this when she in a rage. In fact, likely you wont want to stimulate her at all, but you can do that after. Also, when she is having other emotional experiences. These rages sound very overwhelming. Like I said above, I would remove all stimulation during the rages as that is likely to prolong it.

Hope this helps in some way.

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