Tracy Greenberg

@gatortracy | contributor
I am a mom of two teenage boys, ages 16 and 17 who is lucky to have been married to their amazing father for 22 years. We adopted both of our sons at birth and truly believe that they were meant to be our sons. We live in Montgomery County, MD along with our two golden retrievers. I work part-time as a special education paraeducator in an elementary school and it is the best job I have ever had, other than being a mother. (I am a recovery attorney). I love being with my family, being outside, doing yoga, and advocating for ending stigma surrounding mental health conditions. I love this community and respect and welcome all opinions.
Community Voices

Ozark and Bipolar Character

Is anyone else watching the third and current season of Ozark? It is a pretty good show.  It is about a middle American family who become drug launderers for a major Mexican drug cartel.  They move tot he Ozarks as a way to launder the money.  They think they will get out easy, but they don’t.  They just get in deeper.

The show definitely takes  liberties with the characters, and expects us as an audience to just assume certain things for the sake of the plot.  Plus they also want us to just assume what the characters would do, but it is entertaining, and the actors are entertaining.

This season, however, has a new twist.  Wendy, one of the main characters, has a brother – who happens to have bipolar disorder.

Of course, they just call him “bipolar disorder”, which is the first thing that bothers me.

The second, is that as I am watching the show, in the middle of this pandemic, I was just diagnosed with having bipolar disorder.I thought I had anxiety, but when I was put on zoloft for a panic attack, that led to mania.  Apparently I have had BP disorder for a while, it was just misdiagnosed and I was mistreated for many years.   It all makes sense now.  I have a lot to deal with and am working slowly towards a healthy mind and body (ha, – sounds good, doesn’t it).

So Ozark has been hard to watch, but good to watch at the same time.  It has been hard to watch how the character with bipolar disorder acts, how he gets treated by his family, how others react to him, etc. All of it.  But it has been good to watch because it is real. His reactions are real. How he is messing up. Plus this is all taking place in the middle of a drug war.  And we right now are in the middle of a covid pandemic.

Having bipolar disorder and being off of your medication can have real consequences and people need to know that.  I need to know that.  Everyone needs to know that.

Anyway, I was just having those thoughts and I wanted to share them.  Plus I was wondering if anyone else was watching and had any other thoughts.

3 people are talking about this
Community Voices

#happy News

On The Mighty 40 things to do during #quarantine it said to find one happy story a day. Thank you Anderson Cooper for giving us one. You became a dad yesterday and shared it with us. Nothing could be better than a #Gay man being able to be a dad. As a mom of two #adopted sons, I say Congratulations!!

Community Voices
Community Voices

I Feel Awful-Should I leave this group?

Today my reply to someone was marked as offensive and taken down but I have no idea what I wrote that was so offensive and it’s driving me crazy. I remember my comment was somewhere along the lines of “hang in there,” something supportive, which I think is fine right? It has left me feeling like I don’t want to even make comments bc I might say the wrong thing. I feel like whatever it was could have been like an autocorrect or my finger could have slipped (I have osteoarthritis). Should I just leave this site? Maybe I’m not a good person. I am so paranoid now and don’t feel free to be open and supportive, for fear that I may hurt someone unintentionally. What should I do? Sorry I’m all over the place. I haven’t posted a lot here and I don’t even know if I’ll get any replies but I just wanted to put it out there. #Anxiety#Depression#chronic Illness#CheckInWithMe#PTSD

126 people are talking about this
Tracy Greenberg

Supporting Kids With Disabilities Studying Online Due to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is not something that anyone would want to happen. People are dying and sick, the economy is suffering, mental health conditions are on the rise, and we are separated from those we love and want to see.  Yet, there are positives coming out of this shutdown. In fact, today I actually thought how calming it would be if we could schedule a similar break, yearly — without the disease, dying and negative effects, of course. Many of the positives are obvious — family time, bored kids agreeing to chores without much fuss, neighbors meeting each other (from six feet away), and people helping those that cannot leave their homes. For me, watching my 17-year old son Bryce, who has diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder, executive functioning disorder, bipolar disorder and anxiety, this time at home has been enlightening and has shown me that my son is so much more capable than I thought. While so many people are struggling right now, including most teenagers who are stuck at home, Bryce is doing great.  He woke up this morning and got on Google Classroom without me even needing to tell him. He is eager to begin Zoom calls with his classmates. He misses his school, The Frost School, a full-time therapeutic school for students with autism and other disabilities, but he is coping and adjusting like everyone else, if not better. Academically Bryce is well below grade level (even with his accommodations) and he struggles a lot with focus and organization.  For example, even with support, he loses his work somewhere between school and home. I have no idea what happens to his lunchbox (I have bought at least five this year) and he leaves the house without a jacket most days because there are at least four left or lost at school or he is clueless about the weather. Bryce also struggles more at nights, weekends and on vacations, because these times are unstructured; after all, he does deserve to be a typical teenager, sleeping late, playing video games and “chilling.” All of this is what I see — the struggles, the lack of organization, not wanting to do anything but play video games, etc. We prepared the best we could for this time at home.  We created a schedule, complete with breaks, free time and plenty of flexibility. I found a service project he could do virtually — hosting a supplies drive for two local charities during the pandemic. He needs service hours to graduate and it would provide more structure in his day. His school’s staff was incredible at providing the home school curriculum and support individualized for each student and their needs. They truly deserve huge bonuses! Even with all of this preparation and support, given his challenges and what I believed about Bryce’s abilities, I thought I’d be doing most of this project myself.  I also thought distance learning would be nearly impossible without his full IEP in place, his teachers, therapists, OT, speech etc. I was completely wrong. I have been shocked by how well Bryce is doing! He caught on to using Google Classroom immediately and he works independently on his schoolwork. He might not get the answers correct, but he tries.  He does almost all of the service project himself, with only supervision and guidance by me. Plus, as an added bonus, by watching him work at home, on a computer, without distractions, I have thought of new accommodations that would help at school. As I am writing this, he is on a bike ride by himself. He just texted me a selfie with a huge smile on his face and told me where he was and that he was going to keep going. I wrote back saying how much I loved the picture and reminded him not to get lost. I normally have to beg him to exercise at home. I can’t fully explain why behaviorally and emotionally Bryce is thriving, but I have spoken to other parents of kids with disabilities as well.  Maybe it is because there is a lot of parent attention. Maybe it’s that many kids with these types of disorders and illnesses are less social than typical teens, or maybe they are not as aware of or fearful about what is going on in the world. Whatever it is, we will take it. Before this, I would worry constantly about my 17-year old nearing independence.  Thanks to this forced “break,” I feel calmer and a lot of my worry about Bryce has subsided.  Bryce may and will likely still struggle, but I know now that with the right help, guidance, and support system, he will be OK as an adult. I wish this happened for a reason other than a national emergency, but I am grateful for the anxiety that has been removed from my life.  I hope other parents around the country and the world are having the same experience as me. And by the way, Bryce just walked in the door, and the first thing he did was wash his hands without being told.  Then he told me how awesome his bike ride was. For more on the coronavirus, check out the following stories from our community: Please Wash Your Hands Year-Round — Not ‘Just’ Because of the Coronavirus Creative Activities to Try With Your Kids While We’re Isolated at Home What to Do When Your Child on the Autism Spectrum’s Routine Is Disrupted by the Coronavirus One Reason the COVID-19 Pandemic Might Be Extra Challenging for Autistic Adults

Tracy Greenberg

Supporting Kids With Disabilities Studying Online Due to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is not something that anyone would want to happen. People are dying and sick, the economy is suffering, mental health conditions are on the rise, and we are separated from those we love and want to see.  Yet, there are positives coming out of this shutdown. In fact, today I actually thought how calming it would be if we could schedule a similar break, yearly — without the disease, dying and negative effects, of course. Many of the positives are obvious — family time, bored kids agreeing to chores without much fuss, neighbors meeting each other (from six feet away), and people helping those that cannot leave their homes. For me, watching my 17-year old son Bryce, who has diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder, executive functioning disorder, bipolar disorder and anxiety, this time at home has been enlightening and has shown me that my son is so much more capable than I thought. While so many people are struggling right now, including most teenagers who are stuck at home, Bryce is doing great.  He woke up this morning and got on Google Classroom without me even needing to tell him. He is eager to begin Zoom calls with his classmates. He misses his school, The Frost School, a full-time therapeutic school for students with autism and other disabilities, but he is coping and adjusting like everyone else, if not better. Academically Bryce is well below grade level (even with his accommodations) and he struggles a lot with focus and organization.  For example, even with support, he loses his work somewhere between school and home. I have no idea what happens to his lunchbox (I have bought at least five this year) and he leaves the house without a jacket most days because there are at least four left or lost at school or he is clueless about the weather. Bryce also struggles more at nights, weekends and on vacations, because these times are unstructured; after all, he does deserve to be a typical teenager, sleeping late, playing video games and “chilling.” All of this is what I see — the struggles, the lack of organization, not wanting to do anything but play video games, etc. We prepared the best we could for this time at home.  We created a schedule, complete with breaks, free time and plenty of flexibility. I found a service project he could do virtually — hosting a supplies drive for two local charities during the pandemic. He needs service hours to graduate and it would provide more structure in his day. His school’s staff was incredible at providing the home school curriculum and support individualized for each student and their needs. They truly deserve huge bonuses! Even with all of this preparation and support, given his challenges and what I believed about Bryce’s abilities, I thought I’d be doing most of this project myself.  I also thought distance learning would be nearly impossible without his full IEP in place, his teachers, therapists, OT, speech etc. I was completely wrong. I have been shocked by how well Bryce is doing! He caught on to using Google Classroom immediately and he works independently on his schoolwork. He might not get the answers correct, but he tries.  He does almost all of the service project himself, with only supervision and guidance by me. Plus, as an added bonus, by watching him work at home, on a computer, without distractions, I have thought of new accommodations that would help at school. As I am writing this, he is on a bike ride by himself. He just texted me a selfie with a huge smile on his face and told me where he was and that he was going to keep going. I wrote back saying how much I loved the picture and reminded him not to get lost. I normally have to beg him to exercise at home. I can’t fully explain why behaviorally and emotionally Bryce is thriving, but I have spoken to other parents of kids with disabilities as well.  Maybe it is because there is a lot of parent attention. Maybe it’s that many kids with these types of disorders and illnesses are less social than typical teens, or maybe they are not as aware of or fearful about what is going on in the world. Whatever it is, we will take it. Before this, I would worry constantly about my 17-year old nearing independence.  Thanks to this forced “break,” I feel calmer and a lot of my worry about Bryce has subsided.  Bryce may and will likely still struggle, but I know now that with the right help, guidance, and support system, he will be OK as an adult. I wish this happened for a reason other than a national emergency, but I am grateful for the anxiety that has been removed from my life.  I hope other parents around the country and the world are having the same experience as me. And by the way, Bryce just walked in the door, and the first thing he did was wash his hands without being told.  Then he told me how awesome his bike ride was. For more on the coronavirus, check out the following stories from our community: Please Wash Your Hands Year-Round — Not ‘Just’ Because of the Coronavirus Creative Activities to Try With Your Kids While We’re Isolated at Home What to Do When Your Child on the Autism Spectrum’s Routine Is Disrupted by the Coronavirus One Reason the COVID-19 Pandemic Might Be Extra Challenging for Autistic Adults

Community Voices

How have you celebrated holidays during #COVID19?

I’ve had virtual Zoom calls for my mom’s birthday, a friend’s bachelorette party and now Easter. It’s been weird but fun and special in its own way.

Have you found creative ways to celebrate holidays?

66 people are talking about this
Community Voices

How have you celebrated holidays during #COVID19?

I’ve had virtual Zoom calls for my mom’s birthday, a friend’s bachelorette party and now Easter. It’s been weird but fun and special in its own way.

Have you found creative ways to celebrate holidays?

66 people are talking about this
Tracy Greenberg

Supporting Kids With Disabilities Studying Online Due to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is not something that anyone would want to happen. People are dying and sick, the economy is suffering, mental health conditions are on the rise, and we are separated from those we love and want to see.  Yet, there are positives coming out of this shutdown. In fact, today I actually thought how calming it would be if we could schedule a similar break, yearly — without the disease, dying and negative effects, of course. Many of the positives are obvious — family time, bored kids agreeing to chores without much fuss, neighbors meeting each other (from six feet away), and people helping those that cannot leave their homes. For me, watching my 17-year old son Bryce, who has diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder, executive functioning disorder, bipolar disorder and anxiety, this time at home has been enlightening and has shown me that my son is so much more capable than I thought. While so many people are struggling right now, including most teenagers who are stuck at home, Bryce is doing great.  He woke up this morning and got on Google Classroom without me even needing to tell him. He is eager to begin Zoom calls with his classmates. He misses his school, The Frost School, a full-time therapeutic school for students with autism and other disabilities, but he is coping and adjusting like everyone else, if not better. Academically Bryce is well below grade level (even with his accommodations) and he struggles a lot with focus and organization.  For example, even with support, he loses his work somewhere between school and home. I have no idea what happens to his lunchbox (I have bought at least five this year) and he leaves the house without a jacket most days because there are at least four left or lost at school or he is clueless about the weather. Bryce also struggles more at nights, weekends and on vacations, because these times are unstructured; after all, he does deserve to be a typical teenager, sleeping late, playing video games and “chilling.” All of this is what I see — the struggles, the lack of organization, not wanting to do anything but play video games, etc. We prepared the best we could for this time at home.  We created a schedule, complete with breaks, free time and plenty of flexibility. I found a service project he could do virtually — hosting a supplies drive for two local charities during the pandemic. He needs service hours to graduate and it would provide more structure in his day. His school’s staff was incredible at providing the home school curriculum and support individualized for each student and their needs. They truly deserve huge bonuses! Even with all of this preparation and support, given his challenges and what I believed about Bryce’s abilities, I thought I’d be doing most of this project myself.  I also thought distance learning would be nearly impossible without his full IEP in place, his teachers, therapists, OT, speech etc. I was completely wrong. I have been shocked by how well Bryce is doing! He caught on to using Google Classroom immediately and he works independently on his schoolwork. He might not get the answers correct, but he tries.  He does almost all of the service project himself, with only supervision and guidance by me. Plus, as an added bonus, by watching him work at home, on a computer, without distractions, I have thought of new accommodations that would help at school. As I am writing this, he is on a bike ride by himself. He just texted me a selfie with a huge smile on his face and told me where he was and that he was going to keep going. I wrote back saying how much I loved the picture and reminded him not to get lost. I normally have to beg him to exercise at home. I can’t fully explain why behaviorally and emotionally Bryce is thriving, but I have spoken to other parents of kids with disabilities as well.  Maybe it is because there is a lot of parent attention. Maybe it’s that many kids with these types of disorders and illnesses are less social than typical teens, or maybe they are not as aware of or fearful about what is going on in the world. Whatever it is, we will take it. Before this, I would worry constantly about my 17-year old nearing independence.  Thanks to this forced “break,” I feel calmer and a lot of my worry about Bryce has subsided.  Bryce may and will likely still struggle, but I know now that with the right help, guidance, and support system, he will be OK as an adult. I wish this happened for a reason other than a national emergency, but I am grateful for the anxiety that has been removed from my life.  I hope other parents around the country and the world are having the same experience as me. And by the way, Bryce just walked in the door, and the first thing he did was wash his hands without being told.  Then he told me how awesome his bike ride was. For more on the coronavirus, check out the following stories from our community: Please Wash Your Hands Year-Round — Not ‘Just’ Because of the Coronavirus Creative Activities to Try With Your Kids While We’re Isolated at Home What to Do When Your Child on the Autism Spectrum’s Routine Is Disrupted by the Coronavirus One Reason the COVID-19 Pandemic Might Be Extra Challenging for Autistic Adults

Tracy Greenberg

Supporting Kids With Disabilities Studying Online Due to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is not something that anyone would want to happen. People are dying and sick, the economy is suffering, mental health conditions are on the rise, and we are separated from those we love and want to see.  Yet, there are positives coming out of this shutdown. In fact, today I actually thought how calming it would be if we could schedule a similar break, yearly — without the disease, dying and negative effects, of course. Many of the positives are obvious — family time, bored kids agreeing to chores without much fuss, neighbors meeting each other (from six feet away), and people helping those that cannot leave their homes. For me, watching my 17-year old son Bryce, who has diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder, executive functioning disorder, bipolar disorder and anxiety, this time at home has been enlightening and has shown me that my son is so much more capable than I thought. While so many people are struggling right now, including most teenagers who are stuck at home, Bryce is doing great.  He woke up this morning and got on Google Classroom without me even needing to tell him. He is eager to begin Zoom calls with his classmates. He misses his school, The Frost School, a full-time therapeutic school for students with autism and other disabilities, but he is coping and adjusting like everyone else, if not better. Academically Bryce is well below grade level (even with his accommodations) and he struggles a lot with focus and organization.  For example, even with support, he loses his work somewhere between school and home. I have no idea what happens to his lunchbox (I have bought at least five this year) and he leaves the house without a jacket most days because there are at least four left or lost at school or he is clueless about the weather. Bryce also struggles more at nights, weekends and on vacations, because these times are unstructured; after all, he does deserve to be a typical teenager, sleeping late, playing video games and “chilling.” All of this is what I see — the struggles, the lack of organization, not wanting to do anything but play video games, etc. We prepared the best we could for this time at home.  We created a schedule, complete with breaks, free time and plenty of flexibility. I found a service project he could do virtually — hosting a supplies drive for two local charities during the pandemic. He needs service hours to graduate and it would provide more structure in his day. His school’s staff was incredible at providing the home school curriculum and support individualized for each student and their needs. They truly deserve huge bonuses! Even with all of this preparation and support, given his challenges and what I believed about Bryce’s abilities, I thought I’d be doing most of this project myself.  I also thought distance learning would be nearly impossible without his full IEP in place, his teachers, therapists, OT, speech etc. I was completely wrong. I have been shocked by how well Bryce is doing! He caught on to using Google Classroom immediately and he works independently on his schoolwork. He might not get the answers correct, but he tries.  He does almost all of the service project himself, with only supervision and guidance by me. Plus, as an added bonus, by watching him work at home, on a computer, without distractions, I have thought of new accommodations that would help at school. As I am writing this, he is on a bike ride by himself. He just texted me a selfie with a huge smile on his face and told me where he was and that he was going to keep going. I wrote back saying how much I loved the picture and reminded him not to get lost. I normally have to beg him to exercise at home. I can’t fully explain why behaviorally and emotionally Bryce is thriving, but I have spoken to other parents of kids with disabilities as well.  Maybe it is because there is a lot of parent attention. Maybe it’s that many kids with these types of disorders and illnesses are less social than typical teens, or maybe they are not as aware of or fearful about what is going on in the world. Whatever it is, we will take it. Before this, I would worry constantly about my 17-year old nearing independence.  Thanks to this forced “break,” I feel calmer and a lot of my worry about Bryce has subsided.  Bryce may and will likely still struggle, but I know now that with the right help, guidance, and support system, he will be OK as an adult. I wish this happened for a reason other than a national emergency, but I am grateful for the anxiety that has been removed from my life.  I hope other parents around the country and the world are having the same experience as me. And by the way, Bryce just walked in the door, and the first thing he did was wash his hands without being told.  Then he told me how awesome his bike ride was. For more on the coronavirus, check out the following stories from our community: Please Wash Your Hands Year-Round — Not ‘Just’ Because of the Coronavirus Creative Activities to Try With Your Kids While We’re Isolated at Home What to Do When Your Child on the Autism Spectrum’s Routine Is Disrupted by the Coronavirus One Reason the COVID-19 Pandemic Might Be Extra Challenging for Autistic Adults