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I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this is happening.
A parent or guardian is allowed to file a lawsuit as "next friend" of a minor who has been legally wronged. That would usually mean that one of your stepson's parents would file the lawsuit. Any money received as a result of the case would go into a trust in his name. Usually, the trust would be administered by the same parent, but another adult could do it. Alternatively, the statute of limitations is tolled for minors until they become of age, so your stepson could wait and sue on his own when he's older.
Defamation of character requires an untrue statement of fact about a third party of a sort that is likely to harm their reputation. When statements are made to people who have a right to know (like if your daughter's mother was talking to medical professionals about a health condition your son had), then you have to show that she knew the statements were untrue or exhibited a reckless disregard for the truth or falsity. If she's making the statements to people who have no need to know at all, then you don't have to prove that - just that she's making these negative comments and how your stepson has been affected. He would have to testify at trial if the case weren't settled out of court.
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