6 answers

4 1/2 Year Old Son Not Making Eye Contact.

My son is 4 1/2. He will avoid eye contact when we talk to him, especially if we are upset about his behavior. My husband noticed that he also would not look at his T-Ball coach when the coach was giving him batting instruction. My son is definitely on the shy side. I would say kind of an introvert. He is extremely sweet and sensitive. Any insight?

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So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the feedback. REading about the other signs of autism/asperger's, I think that his not making eye contact is more due to his sensitivity and shyness. I have taken the suggestions of playing "eye" games to encourage this response. Thanks to all again!

More Answers

Making eye contact when speaking or being spoken to is one of our american traits. to us, it is respectful and honest. There are other cultures though where you're not suppose to look a superior in the eye. I'm wondering if your son feels "bad" during the times when he's being spoken to and needs to look down.

1 mom found this helpful

Not making eye contact when being scolded is common. Heck I still can't make eye contact with my parents if they scold me! But what about other social situations? Does he make eye contact with friends during play situations? What about other adults in non-stressful situations? Has he always had difficulty making eye contact? If in non-stressful situations he makes eye contact I wouldn't worry, you said yourself he is sensitive. But if he is not making eye contact at all, have him assessed by a pediatric autism specialist. And get several opinions. If he is showing signs of mild autism (which he may not) early intervention is key. UCLA has a good autism program.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear M.,
What about when it is a non-stressful time? Is he making eye contact then? If so, I don't think you should worry too much. I know that many children in stressful situations avoid eye contact. Also, many children are auditory learners and they shift from using visual input to putting the focus on what they are hearing so often times their eyesight will wander from the speaker as they focus on what is being said. They are not being inattentive, it is just part of their learning style...think about when you are deep in thought...you may not be looking at anything in particular.

1 mom found this helpful

Try to speack with a gentle tone, make physical contact with him, touch in him gently and eye contact. One must make sure we first let go of your own anger when responding. One wants to be firm and use the appropriate force when teaching, when one becomes detached and approuches the child with what does he or she need seperate from ones reaction, may it be fear or anger then we can respond to his or her appropriate needs. Pay attention to the childs body language, if you have good rapport the instructions is being digested or not. One also has to remember other aspects as well, such has, hunger and fatigue, which will not allow the child to respond. Also if the child has been overpowered or underpowered the relearning process will take time and lots of repeat. Be aware of other adults that do not have this awareness and can be un-intionallly hurting the child, Teachers, couches, baby sitters, grandparents, etc. Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful

I have a suggestion to try that has worked for us. I have seen my nieces and nephews not making eye contact. So when I had my daughter I worked on teaching her to do it.
I actually ask her to look in my eyes and kind of play a one on one challenging game to keep looking. Like who can look the longest. Also lots of praise when doing it, keeping it all positive. Make it a positive fun game so that he enjoys it and feels wonderful about it. as we play we talk about how important it is to look into someone's eyes when talking to them. She is 4 turning 5 in May. I hope this can help.


Have you mentioned this to your doctor? Have you heard of Aspbergers? Does he adjust to changes? or does he have a difficult time? Maybe it's nothing but it wouldn't hurt to check it out.

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