Conduct Disorder is when children or adolescents have trouble following the rules and behaving in a socially acceptable way. These children are seen as bad or delinquents. On March 22nd on the Today Show, Amy Cluley spoke about the difficulty of raising her five year-old son with this same disorder and how she wishes more help was available.
Amy Cluley’s son was four when she realized there was something wrong with him. Her son barely slept and would not be able to calm him down when he was upset. Cluley’s son would cry for twenty minutes screaming, yelling, and throwing things. He even once cried for four hours just because it was raining outside. Cluley would have challenges with her insurance company because they would not cover a doctor and it was too hard for doctors to treat this disorder.
Cluley was part of a private Facebook group called Parents of Children with Conduct Disorder. A lady Cluley met in her parish referred her to a doctor who diagnosed her son. He described this condition as a brain disorder where the part of the brain that regulates impulse and emotions does not work. These same parents founded an organization called STOPP which stands for Society for Treatment Options for Potential Psychopaths. Cluley knows that her son’s behavior is not a reflection on her parenting in that she has another daughter who is a typical fifteen year-old. She may not know the cause of her son’s behavior but she is determined for answers to help him. Many of these children tend to have violent behavior when they are adults. It scares her that he does not know empathy on a regular basis.
It is hard for Cluley to go to a public place with her son which leads her and her husband to take turns being with their son at home. She wishes that doctors would treat her son the same way doctors treated her husband when he was diagnosed with colon cancer last year where intervention and treatment was needed. She wants to help her son so that he is not a danger to himself or other people. University of New Mexico professor Dr. Kent Klehl uses MRIs to screen prison inmates for psychopathy treatment. He recommends a local psychology group near the university to learn different parenting techniques to help their child with this disorder and to have patience.
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