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Question
Posted by: Just Me | 2011/03/23

Nephew being labled psychopath.

Hi

My nephew is 11. He hasn''t had an easy life and child welfare removed him and his sisters from their mother when he was 7. He was placed with my sister late last year (she has 2 boys, 16 &  18) after he got a 4 year old cousin to perform a sexual act on him. For a while things were going really well with him living with my sister and her boys but then he tried to molest her 16 year old. She had him evaluated and the psychologist (UN based) says he is psychopathic. Can an 11 year old already be psychopathic? What help is available for kids like him in Gauteng. My sister must protect her own children and therefor does not want him staying with her anymore and he can not go back to his mom as she is still in the same position that got the kids removed - she does not want to change her lifestyle. His sisters''s father also do not want him back as the first incident took place their and they have a little girl to protect aswell. My situation also does not allow me to take him at the moment as i am caring for my dad who has cancer.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Its hard, isn't it, to picture an 11 uear-old molesting a 16 year-old. If he would pick so unlikely a target, one wonders if he has tried it with other kids in the neighbourhood or at school ?
Presumably, it seems likely that the youngster in question was himself abused when younger. You don't mention why Welfare removed him from his mother when he was 7, but they don't do that lightly. And presumably in the 3 or 4 years since then, before being placed with your sister, he was either in other foster homes or in an institution, so this is a real possibility.
The psychologist's report sounds unhelpful. Some would indeed diagnose a psychopathic / sociopathic / antisocial personality disorder in someone so young, this is controversial, and there should have been more of an emphasis on the isue of what could be done to help him and those who worry about him, what sort of treatment or facility might be available and where.
Maybe that was included in that psychologist's report, as omitting those issues would be less than competent. But otherwise maybe a new assessment by a CHILD psychologist who will pay attention to these essential issues, may be needed

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Our users say:
Posted by: Taylor | 2011/03/25

Thank you Happiness for seeing what I see.

Reply to Taylor
Posted by: Happiness | 2011/03/24

Good people,

Read and understand pschology first, understand trauma and how it affects people. That way you''ll have a clear understanding of the hell this boy is going through.
Before that don''t judge!

Reply to Happiness
Posted by: Taylor | 2011/03/24

Obsever- I agree that the government policies are odd and it doesn''t make it right but we aren''t discussing that. I would never encourage that kind of behavior but at the end of the day the kid is still a kid and he needs serious help. It doesn''t matter if other kids have had zero results- he may. Or what would you suggest? Lock him up now?
Purple- I understand you point of view. He needs to be treated like an adult but still taking into account that he''s a child. The poor thing must have so many personal demons.

Reply to Taylor
Posted by: PUrple | 2011/03/24

Hi Taylor,

I hear what you say, but feel that at some point this boy is going to have to take responsibility for his actions and if he hasn''t learnt this already, then now is that time - and no matter how many homes he has been shuttled to and from, his behaviour is still wrong.
A reason for behaving in a particular way might explain the behaviour but it does not excuse it.
From around age 7 children have the capacity to tell right from wrong - regardless of their upbringing.
Nobody needs to be told that stealing is wrong, that murdering is wrong - even if you have grown up in a warped family or shuttled around - these things can be picked up by observing them in others.
This boy doesn''t seem to care one way or the other, and personally I think softly approachign the matter isn''t going to work, that he needs to go off to somewhere like boys town and be in no doubt that its because of his unacceptable behaviour and that when he learns how to behave in polite society, he can return to being a part of it. (I apply the same principle with my 7 year old - if he misbehaves, he is removed from the situation and sent to his room and hwen he''s prepared to behave he is welcome to come out and join us again).

Reply to PUrple
Posted by: Observer | 2011/03/24

Hi Taylor, If you are a lady I hope you do not encounter the lad when he has the urge. Thanks to you Purple for your very apt comment. Adults tend to think of youngsters of that age as being incapable of determining right from wrong. They tend to forget the horrible murders and rapes that occur throughout the world by " Boy soldiers"  fuelled no doubt by the same unfortunate character flaws exhibited by Master Nasty. It wold be interesting to know how many Shrinks have tried to treat psycho kids like that with zero results. Speaking of treating children like adults, how about the Govt authorizing 12 year old girls to seek an abortion without the consent of their parents ??

Reply to Observer
Posted by: Taylor | 2011/03/24

I''m sorry Purple but I don''t agree with you. At 11 you should have an idea of what''s right and wrong and at that age you also start to get curious. However, if he has not been taught what''s right and wrong because he''s too busy being passed from home to home then he won''t know. If it''s not instilled in a child from when they are young then it''s hard to get them to get into the habit of doing the right thing. Even he does know, he''s had a hard life and maybe he''s acting out now.

Reply to Taylor
Posted by: Purple | 2011/03/24

I don''t think people just wake up as adults and are sinister beings - it starts when they are children. If this is the way he behaves at the age of 11, unless there is drastic intervention from a professional, he is just going to get worse.

Can the social worker who originally handled his removal from his mothers care arrange for a psychiatrists help?

If I were your sister I would also not want to care for him anymore, there is a limit to how much you can tolerate from someone, even a child and how many excuses for their behaviour you can find. He is old enough to be able to tell right from wrong, he knows what he is doing is wrong - but he doesn''t care. Has your sister arranged some help for her children who he has sexually abused?

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Just Me | 2011/03/24

Just an update to correct Observers view of my nephew. The " nasty piece of work"  is his mother as she is responsible for the life he had that lead (his formative years 1 - 7) which brought him to where he is know. My 2 nieces (16 &  12) also has problems but are more accepting of the talks we have with them and are therefor not doing as bad as their brother.

Reply to Just Me
Posted by: Taylor | 2011/03/24

Observer you -|- ! The poor boy is 11 years old and he''s obviously troubled- he''s not a ''nasty piece of work''! He desperately needs stability and counselling.

Reply to Taylor
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/03/24

Its hard, isn't it, to picture an 11 uear-old molesting a 16 year-old. If he would pick so unlikely a target, one wonders if he has tried it with other kids in the neighbourhood or at school ?
Presumably, it seems likely that the youngster in question was himself abused when younger. You don't mention why Welfare removed him from his mother when he was 7, but they don't do that lightly. And presumably in the 3 or 4 years since then, before being placed with your sister, he was either in other foster homes or in an institution, so this is a real possibility.
The psychologist's report sounds unhelpful. Some would indeed diagnose a psychopathic / sociopathic / antisocial personality disorder in someone so young, this is controversial, and there should have been more of an emphasis on the isue of what could be done to help him and those who worry about him, what sort of treatment or facility might be available and where.
Maybe that was included in that psychologist's report, as omitting those issues would be less than competent. But otherwise maybe a new assessment by a CHILD psychologist who will pay attention to these essential issues, may be needed

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Observer | 2011/03/23

Gee what a nasty piece of work he seems to be. I really do not know what to suggest as this is a very difficult situation. One has a horrible idea that as he grows up he is going to be a real public enemy and a danger to womanfolk. I would be interested to see what CS says.

Reply to Observer

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