The Wild Child

The Wild Child

Thu, 01/12/2012 - 9:00pm

What is it like to have a mind you can't control? For three young people diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it's a brave journey into uncharted medical and emotional territory.

The Wild Child, airing Thursday, January 12 at 9 p.m. on AM 1370/FM-HD 91.5-2, follows Erin, Eric, and Athena, along with their parents, doctors, teachers, and advocates, as they navigate puberty and adolescence with a serious mood disorder. This special is part of Dialogue on Disability: The Herman & Margaret Schwartz Community Series, a week-long outreach initiative hosted by WXXI and Al Sigl Center Communities that is designed to stimulate community dialogue about the perspectives and abilities of people with disabilities.

Seventeen-year-old Erin is a Nirvana fan with a history of substance abuse; Athena is a 10-year-old aspiring cheerleader who lives on disability with her single mom; Eric is a 15-year-old disciple of Conan O'Brien who still holds a record for middle school detentions. Through these young people's blunt, honest, and often humorous voices, we learn about the early signs of the disorder; difficulties getting an accurate diagnosis; the trial and error of treatment; stress on family relationships; working with under-budgeted school systems; and hopes for the future.

The Wild Child repeats Sunday, January 15 at 9 p.m. on AM 1370/FM-HD91.5-2. Dialogue on Disability runs January 8-15 and is made possible with support from the Fred L. Emerson Foundation

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