Dear Abby: I’m a mother of two boys, 13 and 12. My oldest son has become very abusive, both physically and emotionally. He has been arrested for hitting me and hitting his little brother. He was recently kicked off the bus for hitting another student and has also been locked out of school.
I have tried therapy and medications for him, but he hasn’t changed. I’m at my wits’ end, ready to give up and hand him over to the court. He has both parents and a loving home. I don’t know what to do anymore. I love my son, but can no longer do this. Please tell me how to help him!
— Loving Mother in Tennessee
Dear Loving Mother: Much information is missing from your letter. What triggers your son’s violent episodes? Could he have a learning disability? Is he being teased or bullied, which might explain why he hit another student? Has he been ill, or could he have sensory integration difficulties?
At 13, it’s too soon to throw up your hands and give up. Because therapy and medication haven’t helped your son, I would have to ask what kind of therapist has been seeing him. When treatment doesn’t work, a patient may need a more comprehensive assessment — a second opinion or even a third. My suggestion would be to take him to a teaching hospital. And while you’re there, please consider asking about some support for yourself because you have a lot on your shoulders.