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How Can I Help My 10-Year Old Son?

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Q. My son is ten years old, and has been seeing a psychiatrist for 6 years. When he was three years old he was potty trained, his father and I split up and 6 months later he started going to the bathroom on himself. I have had him checked out 3 times, there is no medical problem. He also has anger problems. He has woke me in the middle of the night standing over me with a knife, when asked what he was going to do with the knife, he stated he was going to kill me.(mother) I have had to call the police and he has been restrained in handcuffs to keep himself from harming anyone or himself. I have tried several medications to regulate his moods. He is currently diagnosed as Bi-Polar-NOS, and ADHD. In 2005 he had an IQ of 116, and his last IQ test said it was 90. I have been told he has cognitive development problems. He has gotten to be too much for me to handle alone, so I had him admitted into a residential facility. He has been there for 7 months, and just recently had to be transferred to another facility because staff could not deal with him. They have told me that they have more patients than just him and he is taking time from the other patients. He is currently on Lithium. I am at my witts end, because I do not know how to help him help himself. He sees no gray It is all black or white. He says he can not do the program so he can come home from the hospital. He is wiping poop on sinks, and walls. Hitting his therapist, and beating staff, and other children in the hospital. Residental facility says if he can not go through the program they will have to send him home. Dilema, that is why i sent him to the facilty, was to get help. I can not get him to stay in school. He just walks out of the classroom, hits the principal, the teacher. He has been expelled from school, we tried homebound, won’t cooperate. If they send him home I will not be able to deal with him, he just says he can not do it. We have tried positive reinforcement, and consequences. Nothing is seeming to respond. The doctors say they are not sure where he fits into a diagnosis. How, Where, or can I help him??

How Can I Help My 10-Year Old Son?

Answered by on -


I am sorry to hear about your family’s difficulties. At this point, all you can do is to keep searching for someone or some facility that can help your son. As you mentioned, he is too much to handle on your own and you do need the help of others.

You said he currently resides in a residential treatment facility but did not say what type of treatment was involved with this care. You also said he has been seeing a psychiatrist for the past six years. It is important that he sees other types of mental health professionals other than a psychiatrist for his treatment. Many psychiatrists are very good but too often they focus on medication as the only form of treatment. Your son undoubtedly needs comprehensive treatment. Is there a behavioral care unit associated with a mental health facility or hospital near you? This would be your best course of action.

You might want to consider programs or studies at universities. The University of Pittsburgh, for instance, has a center exclusively dedicated to the study of bipolar children. This center may also provide intervention for these children. I am not certain how the program operates but I know they specialize in helping children with these disorders. There may be an organization like this in your town or city.

I am sorry that I could not be more helpful to you with this problem. Keep trying different doctors, mental health professionals and facilities until you can find one that truly helps. With mental health issues, often your only course of action is persistence. Good luck to you and your family.

How Can I Help My 10-Year Old Son?

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). How Can I Help My 10-Year Old Son?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 23, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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