I remembered having read the book "Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing" by Alexander Sutherland Neill (Author) , Erich Fromm (Foreword) many years ago and was thinking it might be a good idea for my friend to investigate this type of school/therapy. The boy is so frustrating to those around him that the frustration level spirals and escalates, and although he is not violent or anything, he sucks the life out of everyone around him and they end up driving him deeper inside himself.
In other words the family around them while they all seem to care there seems to be nothing to do about this and no way to reach the boy. They need help from the outside, and maybe in a different setting than the house altogether.
Does anyone here in the Palo Alto Online community know of a private school/boarding facility that operates on this kind of alternative philosophy? I think the kid would snap out of it eventually when those around him stop pushing him, he needs space, and of course it's entirely possible he may never develop out of it. They are very well off and I think they ought to give every avenue a try. The normal schools the boy has been to are too driven on tests that he either does not want to take or does poorly on for lack of effort.