Amie Carter Speech was a speech given to the governor of Michigan about her struggling with Jayden. This video has been removed from her YouTube channel as I couldn't find it, so please keep this article as a slice of evidence of her son's daily challenges.
I’m here because, I need help. Three words that are hard to say. Especially in times like these when everyone is struggling themselves. I have always maintained a level of security in my work, life and with my family. But I have a problem that is bigger than I can handle….My son is mentally ill. When my 5 year old son was hospitalized in December 2012, at a psychiatric mental hospital, due to his uncontrollable behavior. I read a blog by Liza Long called “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother”. It hit too close to home, she was describing my son and our day to day struggles and challenges. Through the courage of Liza, other Mothers who have chosen to tell their story. This is mine… My name is Amie and I’m a 34 year old single mother of two. My daughter Alexis is now 13 and my son Jayden is 6. My life has been a whirlwind of unexpected twist and turns since Jayden was diagnosed at 3 with Aspergers, ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. I was going on 4 years at my company Yellow Book, averaging 50 to 60k per year when he was finally diagnosed. Ever since he was born he was a difficult baby. My career suffered due to the frequent doctor’s appointments, the numerous calls from his daycare, lack of sleep and increase of stress. I lost my job after trying to keep up with both. I have been battling this illness for four years now and I have seen two things…little progress, all while my son gets smarter, stronger and more manipulative and also my inability to maintain financial stability for my family. All my energy is wrapped up in the struggles and challenges, we as a family face on a day to day, hour to hour basis. I still don’t feel like I’m on a path that is getting through to him. He has very little remorse. 80% of the time Jayden is good, and when he is good, he is the best. The other 20% is an impulsive, violent, defiant rage that is unpredictable. He will kick, hit, spit, bite, pull hair, and threaten to kill himself or the people around. He will threaten to beat them up or curse at them. In the height of an episode, he is not afraid of anyone or anything. I have to restrain him often. I have no choice. It’s either him or he is attacking his sister, his grandma, myself or anyone or anything that is around. His Psychiatrist believes he may be bi-polar, or have a conduct disorder, but they are not able to diagnose him until he is older. One of the problems I face as a parent is that right now there are no rehabilitation centers for my son. From my understanding, he has to be charged with crimes and community mental health has to exhaust all options before he would be placed in a facility. I would also have to sign him over to be a ward of the state. If I was to do that before CMH recommended it, I would lose the rights to my daughter. We all know what happened in Newtown Connecticut last year. I'm trying to help my 6 year old "at risk" child and nobody seems to know or have the ability to give him the treatment he deserves to try overcome this. My son has the comprehension of an adult, the intelligence of a teenager and the emotional state of a toddler. Jayden’s brain is very unique, the way he rationalizes, his reality comprehension, his manipulation, his sweet kindness, his rage, his lack of control and his ability to mimic emotions; it’s honestly quite scary. Let’s use my son to help children, let’s be the state that tackles the mental health problems in children. Let’s apply for grants and get funding to do testing and try to rehabilitate the mentally ill youth in Michigan, before they become adults and they become a threat to society or themselves. I will not stop fighting until my son gets the proper treatment. My daughter and I need help. Families that deal with children like this, live in an environment comparable to a war zone. We are in survival mode every day. Just because you can't see my son’s disability, it debilitates the whole family. The other night I was venting, I was talking about how this illness has changed our life dramatically and I’m running out of ideas, solutions, patience & sanity; how my daughter’s childhood is unhealthy and how Lexi and I are being verbally and physically abused by Jayden. I was ranting about how much I have changed as a person. I’m angry, worn out, mean, mentally & psychically drained…financially wrecked. His needs are greater than I can handle. I’m too the point that I can’t afford pull-ups for him, I had an eviction notice, our car was repossessed and I have finally hit rock bottom. “Who lives like this? There has to be other parents, that sit in their car and cry for hours, that have lost their jobs and been pushed to poverty level, who live in fear of their child while sleeping at night.” I was getting emotional, “is this it, is this my life now… does it ever get better, because it hasn’t, all my efforts in the last 4 years and this is where I am” Not many people talk about their mentally ill children or their financial hardships. It’s hard to talk about it and most people can’t comprehend a life like ours. Well I am speaking out. I want to not only help my family but reach out to other families having the same challenges. I’m in the process of forming a non-profit organization in my community called More Than Hope. Because it takes More Than Hope to raise a child with violent behaviors and extreme aggression. I have a great plan of action drawn up to meet those needs and I would love to share those with you at a later date. Please help me to get our life back on track and also give me the ability to reach out and help others. I can’t fight this alone …and as they say “together we can make a difference
Amie Carter's speech was based on Liza Long's blog "I am Adam Lanza's Mother"