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Parents Worry Their Child Could Be ‘Next Adam Lanza’

ROCHESTER HILLS (WWJ) – Since the tragic mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, it’s been a very busy week for a Rochester Hills psychiatrist who specializes in treating children.

Beaumont Dr. Joel Young said the number of calls coming into his office has about doubled since last Friday, highlighting just how many people are struggling with troubled children.

What are these parents talking about?

“Individuals making threats to themselves and then occasionally threatening other people,” he said. “We’re getting a lot of calls where people are concerned — is my child a potential perpetrator? Is my child violent?”

Young said taking care of such children is a difficult, and sometimes lifelong, task.  “Families who have children like Adam (Lanza, the Conn. shooter) have to deal with this 24 hours a day for many years without much relief or much sympathy from other people, and yet it’s a nightmare,” he said. “These children often don’t marry, they don’t integrate into society very well. It is the responsibility of the parents, often the mother, and it is an ongoing challenge.”

Young told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Sandra McNeil most troubled kids will not resort to violence, and therapy can help.

Young said young men are the most at risk to become violent between the ages of 18 and 30. Also at risk are those who are isolated and have problems with impulse control.

There’s one thing, Young said, he feels strongly about: “It’s not a function of bad parenting; it’s luck of the draw.”  He said these parents need support, not criticism.

Funerals continue this week for the 26 people, including 20 young children, who were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown Connecticut on Dec. 14. The shooter, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, killed himself as police arrived on the scene. (Follow CBS Local coverage from Conn. at this link).

RELATED: School Districts Cancel Class Due To Doomsday Talk, Potential Threats 

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