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  1. #1
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    Can You Call a 9-yo a Psychopath?

    Pretty interesting (and scary) stuff.

    “In the beginning, I thought it was us,” Miguel said, as his two younger sons played loudly with a toy car. “But Michael defies logic. You do things by the book, and he’s still off the wall. We became so tired of fighting with him in public that we really cut back on our social life.”

    Over the last six years, Michael’s parents have taken him to eight different therapists and received a proliferating number of diagnoses. “We’ve had so many people tell us so many different things,” Anne said. “Oh, it’s A.D.D. — oh, it’s not. It’s depression — or it’s not. You could open the DSM and point to a random thing, and chances are he has elements of it. He’s got characteristics of O.C.D. He’s got characteristics of sensory-integration disorder. Nobody knows what the predominant feature is, in terms of treating him. Which is the frustrating part.”

    Then last spring, the psychologist treating Michael referred his parents to Dan Waschbusch, a researcher at Florida International University. Following a battery of evaluations, Anne and Miguel were presented with another possible diagnosis: their son Michael might be a psychopath.


    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/ma...general&src=me

    Personally, I think it's possible. I think psychopaths are often born that way. Why can't a child be labeled as such?

    Justice for Travis


    Sometimes the first step towards forgiveness is understanding that the other person is a complete idiot.

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    There are probably few things more terrifying as a parent. I cannot imagine.

  3. #3
    I've know this may cause a lot of you to shake your heads, but i've known two children I fear are potential psychopaths. One was 5 when i started to think that way, the other was just 3.

    One of them tried to kill a 5 week old kitten by throwing it across a room into a wall (when they thought no one was looking), and when that didn't kill it the child picked it up and snapped its neck. The mother witnessed this. when given a row the child couldn't care less, let alone understand that what was done was wrong. in fact the child complained about getting a row for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazycatladyscotland View Post
    I've know this may cause a lot of you to shake your heads, but i've known two children I fear are potential psychopaths. One was 5 when i started to think that way, the other was just 3.

    One of them tried to kill a 5 week old kitten by throwing it across a room into a wall (when they thought no one was looking), and when that didn't kill it the child picked it up and snapped its neck. The mother witnessed this. when given a row the child couldn't care less, let alone understand that what was done was wrong. in fact the child complained about getting a row for it.
    Okay, that is completely terrifying. I think any child who finds pleasure in killing an animal like that has serious issues.

    Justice for Travis


    Sometimes the first step towards forgiveness is understanding that the other person is a complete idiot.

  5. #5
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    Alot of children need to be taught empathy for animals and younger children though, it doesn't necessarily mean they're a psychopath. I'd be worried about loading children with that label, it might just encourage a mentality that they should be written off as a lost cause before they've even reached their teens.

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    I think Ted Bundy and probably Jeffrey Dahmer were psychopaths since childhood, IIRC they were both abusing and killing animals at a very young age, and that to me is the definition of a child psychopath. The majority of children instinctively want to touch or pet an animal, as far as I know, not beat, burn or otherwise destroy them. JMO
    Just my opinion, of course.

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    I think children can be a psychopath at that age. My hesitation in labeling as such at such a young age is it pretty much write the child off as hopeless and result in little to no attempts at intervention.

    The key to me is empathy and child that has not developed empathy by the age of 8 (some studies say 6) are in real trouble.

    I don't know if psychopaths are born, are created, or are predisposed and the switch is flipped by trauma/neglect. I would guess if they are not just born that way that the years of 6-10 are probably the critical window for intervention, if it is possible at all.

    Of course the psychopaths we see are so often from broken homes they are rarely going to be identified, and when the are just as unlikely to have both the resources and the stability it would take to save the few that can be. moo

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    That was a terrific article. Scarifying. In all my years of teaching, I taught only one person who might be labeled "psychopath."

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cluciano63 View Post
    I think Ted Bundy and probably Jeffrey Dahmer were psychopaths since childhood, IIRC they were both abusing and killing animals at a very young age, and that to me is the definition of a child psychopath. The majority of children instinctively want to touch or pet an animal, as far as I know, not beat, burn or otherwise destroy them. JMO
    BBM

    I completely agree. Even kids who like to torture and kill bugs scare me a little. I realize that may going a tad overboard but it bothers me. Granted, I'm the one who lets spiders outside rather than stepping on them, so take that for what it's worth.

    Justice for Travis


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    That was a terrific article. Scarifying. In all my years of teaching, I taught only one person who might be labeled "psychopath."
    Scarifying! Great word!

    Justice for Travis


    Sometimes the first step towards forgiveness is understanding that the other person is a complete idiot.


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    http://apt.rcpsych.org/content/10/6/466.full

    At present, there is no general agreement on whether or not psychopathy exists in childhood and adolescence. A consensus is likely to be reached only when we have longitudinal studies demonstrating the stability of psychopathic traits over the lifespan and evidence that the same aetiological factors contribute to this disorder at all ages. As there is significant overlap between the behavioural aspects of juvenile psychopathy and ADHD and between the callous-unemotional dimension of psychopathy and autistic-spectrum disorders, future work needs to disentangle these constructs from a phenomenological and aetiological perspective.
    The medical community can't come to an agreement about diagnosing children with personality disorders. I tend to be very conservative in my opinion about diagnosing children with personality disorders. As cappucino said above IMHO we must be very careful in assigning labels to children. The article above states there just isn't enough info about this in kids.

    JMHO

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    i had an experience with one of my neighbors kids. when my youngest was 7 and he was 3. she was out front of my house playing with his sister and they didn't want to play with him. he picked up a brick and hit my daughter in the head. she ended up in the ER for stitches. instead of his mom telling him he shouldn't have done that, she asks me where was i, why didn't i tell my daughter to let him play with them. excuse me but i was sitting on the steps and he did it before i could even open my mouth. i stopped him from hitting her a second time. and personally i don't believe that i should have forced my daughter to play with him...its not like they were the same age and gender. my daughter and the sister were and were playing together.

    i moved shortly after that but i often wonder how he is now. i remember i'd be sitting there on the steps and he would come up and try to karate kick me in the head...nice 3 year old. his mom would laugh.
    we need to encourage harder sentencing on those that are harming our children. our children are worth it!!

    stop the circus!! these children as all children deserve to be found and justice brought forth for what has happened to them!!


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    That sounds like bad parenting, not psychopathy. Alot of three yr olds would be behaving like that if their mother was as lax as that one.

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    There's a little girl that lived in my neighborhood and I know she is at least a sociopath! She scares the wits out of me. She is a very evil child, IMO. The last straw with me was when I was walking out of my car and she threw her shoe at me so hard (it hit me in the head) that I almost fell over. I wanted to kill her myself, but I kept my composure and asked her "Why did you do that?" and she stares at me with her evil, cool eyes and says "It was an accident." Yeah, right! I took the shoe and her parents had to come and get it from me and I told them exactly what I felt about their little budding sociopath! I told them had that shoe hit my older mother, I would have called the cops and had her arrested! She threw a rock at my mom's car once too. She was pure terror! They must have moved away because I haven't seen her in a long time -- but she was definitely a sociopath!

    MOO
    Justice for Trayvon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cappuccino View Post
    That sounds like bad parenting, not psychopathy. Alot of three yr olds would be behaving like that if their mother was as lax as that one.
    Really?? Seemingly completely apathetic and manipulative? I disagree. It sounds to me like there is something seriously wrong with this kid. Don't you think the doctors would have been able to tell if it was just bad parenting??

    Justice for Travis


    Sometimes the first step towards forgiveness is understanding that the other person is a complete idiot.

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