PARENTS

Mum Says She Would Have Her Violent ADHD Son 'Put Down Like An Animal'

14/08/2014 16:50 | Updated 22 May 2015

Mum tells Phil and Holly she would have her violent ADHD son 'put down like an animal'

A mother has described the challenges of having a son with severe Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and even admitted that if he were an animal, she would have him put down.

Jenny Young's youngest child, Ryan, 10, suffers with the most extreme symptoms of the condition and frequently launches violent attacks on his mum.

The torment is so severe that Jenny went on ITV's This Morning to describe her life to presenters Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.

And in a heartbreaking confession she said that because she is his mother, and not a pet owner, she must put up with it.

She said her son's unpredictability, caused by ADHD and severe learning difficulties, makes life difficult and sometimes dangerous.

She said she is the main target of his frustration and that if Ryan, who has the mental age of a two-year-old, were her husband they would have divorced by now. In fact, Ryan's problems were partly the cause of her own marriage breakdown with Ryan's father.

She added that people should not judge her for her comments until they have heard her story.

Jenny said that she used the example of putting a dog down because she has a member of the family who went through the traumatic experience of having their dog put to sleep after they could not control its violence.

"It was a horrendous traumatic experience for the whole family. They worked really, really, hard and did everything they could possibly do for [the dog]," she said.

"They spent lots of money and put lots of effort in and ultimately they had the choice to have her put down.

"I don't liken Ryan and the dog exactly but there is a choice. When you have a dog that behaves [violently] and might attack you any minute, you have a choice.

"I wouldn't be without Ryan but [ I was trying to make the point] that when you're the mother of a child like Ryan there is no choice. There isn't a refuge for battered mums - you have to get on with it."

Jenny, who has three other children, aged 25, 23 and 19, said her oldest son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 10. Before then people excused his behaviour as 'just being a boy'.

Jenny said: "It was a relief [when he was diagnosed] because he wasn't just being naughty."

She then went on to recognise the same traits in her other children.

Jenny said she loves Ryan dearly but, unlike pet owners, mothers of disabled children do not have a choice about their situation.

She added that her late diagnosis of ADHD has helped her to relate to her children and ultimately to cope with her situation.

She said: "If you've got an ADHD mind it's difficult to understand those who don't have an ADHD mind."

Jenny said she grieved for Ryan when he was diagnosed with ADHD and severe learning difficulties.

"You don't love your child any less but it's a bit like going on holiday and not arriving in the place you expected. It's a lovely place, but not what you expected," she said.

But she went on to explain that 99 per cent of the time Ryan is adorable and is violent and unpredictable for only one per cent.

"And I think most parents would say same thing. There are two sides to him. The biggest problem is the unpredictability," she said.

"He can be gorgeous all day and then I can squat down to give him a cuddle and he might bite me or scratch me or knock my glasses off or punch me. At least every day I get punched in the face."

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