This HBO documentary explores the struggle of three moms who are trying to find mental health services for their aggressive sons.
A Dangerous Son tells the story of families with sons who have disorders that lead to explosive, violent behaviors. These kids are a danger to their families and themselves – but there are few options for mental health services. The documentary doesn’t go into the diagnoses of the children but does mention the autism spectrum, intellectual disability, and schizoaffective disorder.
While our children may have different diagnoses, the issues are the same for every parent struggling with a child who has violent behaviors. The themes are eerily familiar:
- There are no beds available in residential treatment facilities
- Treatment is too expensive and Medicaid refuses to continue coverage
- No one believes the mothers about their kids behaviors
- The mothers are blamed for their children’s behaviors
The documentary is headlined by Liza Long who wrote the viral blog post, “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother,” in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting. If you haven’t read it, here’s an excerpt:
If you haven’t read it I highly recommend Liza Long’s book, The Price of Silence: A Mom’s Perspective on Mental Illness.
The lack of mental health treatment for kids with a propensity for violence is a national tragedy. It’s impacted Liza Long’s family and my own. And in some cases it spills out into our schools and communities. A Dangerous Son is a well made, compelling documentary that helps raise awareness around the difficulties of parenting a child who has violent behavior and the struggle to find help.
Have you seen it? Drop a comment below to share your thoughts.