BRADY BUNCH star Susan Olsen is agonizing over placing her autistic son in a home for the developmentally disabled, sources say.
Her only child, 16-year-old Michael, suffers from Asperger’s syndrome and has become violent and combative.
“He’s having a lot of problems,” Susan, who played pigtailed moppet Cindy Brady on the popular sitcom, told a reporter recently.
“He’s a really nice kid. He just has anger control issues. In fact, we’re looking into residential care for him because he’s violent. I’ve avoided it for years because I couldn’t bear the thought of living without him. But I realize that’s just plain selfish.”
Single mom Susan, 52, says that when Michael flies into a rage, he attacks her, and it’s become “impossible” to both work and look after him.
She’s struggled to raise Michael ever since he was diagnosed with Asperger’s, a form of autism that impairs the ability to connect with others. The actress even signed up to foster abandoned kittens last year to help Michael develop his social skills.
“I thought getting involved in the foster parenting might help,” she said on NBC’s “Today” show last year.
Michael said: “It’s basically like training wheels on a bike for me to get to the same level of compassion and care like other humans.”
Meanwhile, reports that Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old shooter behind the tragic massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December, had Asperger’s syndrome have prompted experts to consider whether the condition could have played a role in the tragedy.
Dr. Terry Lyles, a noted psychologist on stress and trauma, revealed: “Children with Asperger’s have the propensity to become violent, and given the right circumstances and environment, they can exhibit this behavior. It depends on their personality and how supportive the family is.”
AS The ENQUIRER reported previously, Susan went through a bitter divorce from husband Mitchell Skelly, who claimed that she tussled with their son and squirted Febreze odor remover into the boy’s eyes. Susan denied ever intentionally squirting Febreze in his eyes.
“Susan has had her own demons,” said a source. “But she dearly loves Michael and wants to do what’s best for both of them. It will break her heart to be without him, but she feels she has no choice.
“Michael is more powerful now, and she’s even afraid to have him ride in the front seat of her car for fear that he’ll attack her while she’s driving.”