HOUSTON—While investigators in Connecticut continue to search for the motivation and mental state of the gunman who killed 20 children and six adults last week, a single mother in Humble says the tragedy raised new fears for her and her mentally ill son.
“When I saw what happened in Connecticut my phone just started ringing and it’s actually been ringing ever since,” said a 28-year-old woman who we agreed to only refer to by her first name Alondria. Her phone started ringing because of her son we will call Charles, the second of her four children.
“He was normal. He was a healthy child,” she said.
But by the time he was six years old something was wrong.
“He would pretty much just tend to go off. If it was anything that was sharp that he could stab you with or anything he would.”
He did stab his mom, twice, when he was just 8 years old. Police have been called to their Humble home numerous times.
“I know he was saying he was going to kill me and he wanted to kill my other children in the home as well.”
He was diagnosed ADHD and bipolar disorder and the single mom has been fighting to get him help ever since.
“When you’re dealing with a child with mental issues you never know when they’re going to flip,” she said.
Alondria’s struggle is happening all over the country: parents with mentally ill children but unable to afford help. She says she was counseled by some mental health experts to put her son in a long term treatment program at a cost of $6,000 a month or turn over custody of the boy to Child Protective Services and make him a ward of the state.
“When you have children that are sick why is it so hard to get them the help that they need,” she said.
A few months ago Alondria did find a doctor and therapist willing to take Medicaid. Her son, a third grader now in a special education class in a public elementary school, is stable for the moment on three medications.
But this mom worries. Without more help what will he become when he’s 18 or 20?
“I feel that if he does not get the proper help he needs, either he’s going to hurt somebody or somebody’s going to hurt him. There’s somebody out there that can help me. I know that if I need the help. I just have not found that person yet,” she said.