Hi everyone. I read a lot on this site and am amazed by the wisdom you parents have. Hoping for advice, suggestions and shared experiences. I'm getting very concerned about difficult child 2. Sorry in advance for this being so long..A little background, difficult child 2 came to live with me and my ex when his mom passsed away at age five. husband and I officially adopted him last year so we would be allowed to move out of state with him but I've always had guardianship of him since age five. He's had very little contact with his bio family in the last three years since his paternal great grandmother died of a heart attack. He is such a sweet-natured, wonderful boy and he is really, really struggling academically specifically with reading. He has number of learning disabilities but no developmental delays. This past school year was perhaps the worst. His self confidence has just plummeted. The twins have started reading and have already surpassed his skills. He was suspended three times due to fighting which is just not in his nature. He refused to talk about the reasons behind the fighting but its pretty obviously to me that he was being bullied. He has been showing increasing frustration at home as well. When he was seven I reached out to the Education school at a very good nearby univerisity. He got involved in an excellent reading program. We worked with a phd student specializing in reading disorders and he thinks difficult child has a serious 'reading block' which has been known to present in children who suffer dramatic events (death of mom) during the 'critical reading years.' Also he has been diagnosed with visual processing disorder and dyslexia. Since working with this program he has gained some sight vocabulary. We've had mild sucess with colorcoding his words in three different colors: green for words he knows, yeloow for words he's learning and red for difficult word to try and sound out. We've recently moved but he will continue to use the computer program from the university for ninety minutes a day and once a month we will have a conference call with the phd student. It is sooo hard getting difficult child 2 to share his feelings. All my other kids spew their emotions at me but with difficult child 2 its like trying to extract gold bars from Fort Knox. When he was young he went to a play group for kids who lost bio parents and I've tried getting him into talk therapy on one occasion. difficult child 2 just wouldn't participate and after four sessions of failure we stopped attending. Also, at age 8 his pediatrician suggested Zoloft to help with his confidence and depression. He had a HORRIBLE and scary reaction. Have never tried medicating him again and dont think I will in the future. So to the present... this past week difficult child 2 slugged difficult child 1 in the face and absolute chaos insued. He had every reason to be frustrated because difficult child 1 is currently what I would call 'unstable' and just generally clingy, demanding and annoying. It feels like we walk on eggshells around difficult child 1. The world generally revolves around him, if you know what I mean. Sometimes I feel bad for difficult child 2 because he is shoved in to contact with difficult child 1 so much. He hasn't minded in the past but now that the boys are getting older... Our new house only has three bedrooms and all four boys are in one room currently. However we plan to remodel the basement as a private room for difficult child 2 in the near future. Also we plan to give into his desire for his very own dog next month for his birthday. I tried to talk to difficult child 2 after this incident but all i got was "he was asking for it." I made him suggest his own punnishment (grounded off of electronics and outside play for a week) and he does understand he was clearly in the wrong. Meanwhile difficult child 1 had sworn revenge because difficult child 2 wasn't admitted to the psychiatric hospital (we make it clear to difficult child 1 that for him, physical violence = 911 due to past incidents). We've kept them seperated and difficult child 1 has calmed down somewhat. I'm not sure what my question is, but any feedback regarding difficult child 2 would be soo appreciated. How to get him to open up and share feelings? Decrease his anxiety, frustration & depression? Improve his self esteem and happiness? I'm worried about him. Thanks so much for reading this if you got this far, lol. The new school district also want to hold difficult child 2 back which is a whole other can of worms I will try and post about when I have the energy.