Dr Phil: Asperger’s Syndrome, Bipolar Disorder & The Boy in the Bunker


Dr Phil: The Boy In The Bunker

Dr Phil: Asperger's Syndrome, Bipolar Disorder & The Boy in the Bunker

Ethan lives with bipolar disorder, ADHD and Asperger’s syndrome.

When Ethan’s mother heard his bus driver had been shot and killed, she worried for Ethan’s life. She knew that Ethan sat right behind the bus driver and thought that a bullet might had gotten him as well.


Jennifer said she couldn’t breathe when they took her to the police station. She refused to go in and they offered to call a friend or family member to help her. She knew that was when it was bad. They told her that Ethan was OK but he had been taken hostage by Jimmy Lee Dykes.

Dr Phil: Why Would Dykes Abduct Ethan?

Jennifer wondered why Dykes would take Ethan. They said that when Charles Poland, the bus driver, was shot, Ethan passed out. Dykes went to catch Ethan as he fell. Jennifer believes that Dykes was trying to comfort Ethan and care for him in the moment.

Jennifer’s main worry was that Dykes wouldn’t release Ethan. He had already shot and killed a man. What reason did he have to let Ethan go?


Dr Phil: Bipolar Disorder & Asperger’s Syndrome

Ethan has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, ADHD and Asperger’s syndrome. Jennifer worried that Ethan would have an episode while in the bunker and the police delivered his medicine to him daily through a ventilation pipe. Jennifer asked to speak to Dykes, but the police wouldn’t allow it. They were worried that seeing or hearing Jennifer would cause Ethan to freak out. She stayed away from the media and only watched television three times.

She said that Ethan is a loving and forgiving child. He will go up to strangers and ask for hugs. She was proud of Ethan for keeping his cool in the situation. Jennifer received regular alerts that her son was alive and well. The police said they heard him laughing  the first night.

Dr Phil: Jimmy Lee Dykes’ Bunker

Jennifer knew she couldn’t handle this for much longer. She woke up on the seventh day restless and full of bad thoughts. Dykes told the police that he had enough water and provisions in the bunker to last months.


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