TROUBLED TEENS

11 Jan 2006, 04:27:43 PM

Reporter: Rodney Lohse

"Angry i get blamed for stuff i haven't done if she really cared about me she wouldn't call the police on me" says nathan.

"there was one time when some jelly beans got stolen from my mums bedroom and no one owned up to it and i thought i was going to get blamed for it so i made them eat cat food until someone said they did it [really so you basically tortured your siblings?] Yeah." says rhyan.

They're the stories of families that are tearing themselves apart from the inside.

Loretta mctaggert is just another mother trying to cope with an out of control teen her 15 year old son nathan. He comes and goes as he pleases and when he doesn't get his own way well

"nathan got violent abusive... I told him to get out of the house to cool down he went outside i locked the door he started hitting the house i thought he was going to break the windows so i called the police."

Of course nathan sees it differently he admits he explodes but its because his mum pushes him. "just sit down and talk to me and treat me like a human being not like a piece of crap."

When we ran the story on parents who suffer abuse at the hands of their children 2 weeks ago the response was overwhelming, we received dozens of emails parents suffering the exact same fate some of you i have spoken to personally, about the struggle, the frustration at the lack of help and the sense of hopelessness. And its clear the children are suffering too.. Angry, violent, out of control and not sure why. Well tonight for some of you we may be able to give you what you so desperately need... Hope.

"the violence thing was big it was with my brothers and sisters very controlling if i didn't get what i want i would use force without even thinking about the consequences with my mum i did pull a knife once and swayed it around and ended up stabbing myself" says rhyan.

Rhyan davey too is the other side of story the kids point of view.. For years he was a loose canon.. He terrorised his mother and literally tortured his brother and sisters.

"it got so bad at one stage i had to put him foster care for 2 weeks to give me and the kids a break." his mother jackie was lost as to what do with her out of control son. "i'd always be on guard waiting for the next something to happen."

"sometimes i would threaten to hit her sometimes i would i'd push her throw things just scare her mostly scare tactics but if that wasn't enough i would kick holes in the wall" says rhyan.

Now 19, rhyan says although he was responsible for inflicting unforgivable suffering on his family... He too was a victim.

"i didn't like myself there was a one time a drew up a plan of my arm so i could commit suicide and then i left that for someone to find and just drop hints that i was depressed not knowing what it was at the time."

While rhyan's journey was long he was fortunate after seeing countless doctors he was correctly diagnosed.. Medication curing him almost instantly.

"tourettes syndrome is when blood rushes through the information processing part of the brain and you can't attribute the information your being given" explains rhyan.

Unlike what we've seen in comedy movies, tourettes syndrome isn't just uncontrollable bouts of swearing, for rhyan it was a rush of blood to the head and he would just snap.

And so rhyan is now trying to rebuild his life and forge a relationship with his family.

"that's the worst thing about having tourettes you still have the memories."

And with the memories comes guilt and shame. His plan now? To somehow start a foundation to support families suffering like his did.

"i think the hardest thing for those families to realise is its not their fault its not the child's fault the child is going through a hell of time and the family if they didn't love the child it wouldn't be in the house."

Unfortunately the cure for most parents won't be as simple as it was for rhyan.. For example, nathan, its unlikely he has tourettes but there are other avenues for boys like him and they work helping kids and bringing families back together.

Dave gilson is an instructor at typo station in the victorian wilderness. 50 boys a year are sent here some by their families some by their schools some by the juvenile justice system as a last ditch effort to turn their lives around before it's too late. . But they're not forced they do have a choice to be here.

All the kids come from different backgrounds some from the city some the country some from rich families some from poor.. But what they all have in common is they are at risk... Risk of ruining their lives and those of the families they live with.

"it's not rocket science its aim is to give 14 to 17 year olds blokes get them active but then i suppose its to put them in situations where they're challenged but they can rise to the challenge."

And it starts with a week long hike up mt cobbler. For seven days they'll have to exist on what they carry on their backs, there's no mobile phones, no fast food, no mod cons and only themselves to rely on - at times it will feel impossible.

Then each night round the camp fire they explore their problems.. Their anger their relationships. Essentially showing these kids parts of themselves they haven't seen before.. Things to be proud of.. Building self esteem. Kids like james parsons who was expelled from two schools and couldn't contain his anger at home.

Matt mcadam too was expelled from school but he was also known to police, it was his principal who recommended he try typo and so far its working.

"respect, believe in yourself. Its really challenging and you feel really good when you finish."

Anythony ryan has found a way to get a natural high and leave his old life behind.

"alot of young people are falling through the cracks, traditional education doesn't suit every young person they need adult role models in their lives and alot don't have male role models and particularly mentors and in that is where typo is critical." andy kay is the typo ceo and says since 1992 hundreds of boys have passed through the stations gates coming through mixed up boys and leaving young men with focus and a better understanding about themselves and the world. "alot have gone onto apprenticeships, the armed forces most, definitely successful, it doesn't help every young bloke but 80 percent successful."

The boys also learn practical skills like carpentry and blacksmithing which helps them realise they do have potential to make a contribution to life. Unfortunately typo station survives on donations and can only afford to help a limited number of boys each year but those who go for the most part never look back.

For more information on TYPO, be call (03) 5729 8223 or visit http://www.typostation.org.au