Many have asked - does it get better? 4.5 years later, 2 hospitalizations, numerous behavioral therapists, 3 pdocs later, a confirmed diagnosis due to mania triggered from an antidepressant increase, death threats from her, physical abuse by her, violent rages, police visits, Child Services investigations of me and NO, not a bit easier. Life with Ava is as it has always been, a tireless battle. But my husband and I refuse to give up. We tell her we will never give up and therefore she never will either. I view myself as a mother of a child with special needs. She will never be "the norm" - our lives with Ava will never be "the norm." But there's a reason she chose me as her mother and I refuse to let her down. My mom used to tell me, "This too shall pass." I'll pass this down to my children. I'll never be able to fix her but damn if I'll ever stop trying.