Therapist Who Counseled Adam Lanza’s Parents Says Mom Didn’t Like Leaving Gunman Alone
STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A mediator who worked with the parents of Newtown gunman Adam Lanza during their 2009 divorce said his mother said she didn’t like to leave him alone, while adding his parents went out of their way to accommodate him.
Lanza killed his mother Friday morning before going to Sandy Hook Elementary School and killing 20 children and six adults before taking his own life.
Former neighbor Ryan Craft, who occasionally babysat Adam a decade ago, said his mother worried about Adam constantly. “His mom Nancy had always instructed me to keep my eye on him at all times and never turn my back on him,” Craft said.
Marriage therapist Paula Levy recalled Monday that during about 10 two-hour sessions, Nancy and Peter Lanza were respectful of each other and concerned about their son’s needs. She said the couple told her Adam had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, an autism-like disorder, and they spent considerable time talking about how to provide for his well-being.
Levy said the Lanzas agreed how to divide caretaking responsibilities and as a result said little about Adam’s problems.
The couple’s legal documents involving their divorce offered no hints of an acrimonious split and made no mention of any lingering mental health or medical issues for the then-teenage boy.
Under the terms of the divorce, Lanza’s mother, Nancy Lanza, received $289,800 in alimony this year.
There is no evidence of bitterness in the court file, no exchange of accusations or drawn out custody disputes.
Nancy and Peter Lanza had joint legal custody of Adam but he lived with his mother. The parents agreed to consult and discuss major decisions affecting Adam’s best interests. In instances where the parents couldn’t agree, Nancy Lanza “shall make the final decision,” Judge Stanley Novak wrote on Sept. 24, 2009.
The couple married in June 1981 in Kingston, N.H. The divorce file said the marriage “has broken down irretrievably and there is no possibility of getting back together.”
As part of the divorce, Nancy Lanza was ordered to attend a parenting education program. The provider, Family Centers Inc., certified that she completed the program on June 3 and June 10, 2009. The document said only that Lanza “satisfactorily completed the program.”
The documents said Adam Lanza has lived his entire life at the Newtown home where he fatally shot his mother.
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