Some years ago, I remember reading Jonathan Kellerman's Savage Spawn, a book on sociopathic children, and how nearly impossible it is to treat them. The other day I heard about someone I know who is apparently going through this with their child, which prompted me to search for the term. It's truly heartbreaking: a child who doesn't seem capable of loving its parents, or anyone else. It seems to be mostly genetic, and nearly completely immune to any current treaments. I thought the story of the woman who inspired The Changeling was the most heartbreaking thing I had read in a while, but I wonder if there aren't worse ways to lose a child.
"I'm exploiting the maximum of what you can ask a piece of metal to do."