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Oprah Show Update: The Mother Who Feared Her Own Son

Season 4 Episode 406
Aired on 08/24/2014 | CC tv-14
Imagine the fear of knowing that someone wants you dead. Now, imagine the heartbreak knowing that someone is your own 7-year-old son. In 2011, Laurie Ferris appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show to share the story of her then-11-year-old son, Zach, who began exhibiting troubling behavior at 18 months. "When he was happy, he was the happiest little guy you'd ever want to meet," she said. "When he was angry, it was over the top. It wasn't like a normal tantrum."

Laurie said she began to fear her son. "One afternoon, I was just washing dishes at the sink. All of a sudden, I just felt Zach behind me, and I turned around, and he had a kitchen knife in his hand, and he had his arm poised back, and he had a crazy look in his eyes as though he was going to stab me for no reason, nothing, and I just grabbed the knife out of his hand."

Zach was diagnosed with four different mental health issues, including sensory integration disorder. Because he had to attend a different school 90 minutes from their home, Laurie and her husband Joe split their household. Laurie and Zach moved closer to school while Joe and daughter Julia stayed in their home. "It's been really, really stressful on our marriage," Laurie says. "It's affected our family dramatically."

Three years later, find out how Zach and his family are doing today.

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