25 answers

Social Anxioties for Children

My son just turned 12 today.He has the hardest time making friends and is very antisocial. I have enrolled him in Karate, he attended for 2 years, he did not make one new friend, he had no real desire to go, showed no competitive nature and droped out. I take him to new functions to meet friends his age and he stays off to himself. At family functions he plays off to himself and doesn't play with the other children. I thought he was to tied up in his playstation and Nintendo DS so I limited his time and stopped it from going with us at outings. There has been no change. I have spoke to his counselor and for 2 years she has advised it will come with time. I am very concerned. He has such a hard time fitting in and the only 2 friends he has ever made are not at all like him, have stolen from him, and continuously begs him to give them his belongings. When I ask why he wants them as friends when they do him that way he just says, "It't them for friends or no one because no on likes me. I would like a mother's point of view who has had a child who may have gone through this also. I will take any suggestions anyone may have.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

That sounds like my son when he was 12, when he was finally diagnosed as highly functional autistic. He is now 15 and doing much better. We took him for social skills training through a counselor with other kids for quite awhile. I agree with others that you should seek a diagnosis and have a complete physical done as well. It could also be that something is making him not feel well, like a malfunctioning thyroid of something. You never know.

Have you tried rewarding him for being social at family functions? Practice with him ahead of time what you would like for him to try, like greet certain adults and then reward him with some Nintendo time afterwards. If he experienced some success at things like this, he might be willing to try it on more occasions.

An amino acids supplement seems to have helped my son recently, http://www.supernutrient.com/Autism/index.php. They say he is really opening up at school with other kids.

Good luck.

M. -

I have a 12 year old boy also. What you are describing is my son as well. My son has been diagnosed with high functioning classic autism. I use the book Social Stories by Carol Gray to help my son develop social skills. Social situations make him very anxious and uncomfortable. However, has greatly improved with a vew tools like the social stories.

Here are a few links that might be of interest to you..
http://health.yahoo.com/nervous-symptoms/autism-symptoms/...

http://www.amazon.com/New-Social-Story-Book-Illustrated/d...

You can reach me at ____@____.com

Best Regards

Jenn

More Answers

Oops! Sounds like "Single Parent Syndrome" to me! Join the club, my friend. Me too, and I don't know how many others. :( Your son's temperament is classic to this syndrome.

I raised 2 boys (now in their 20s) and have sisters and friends, with the problem also. In fact, the USA is overrun with it, if you want the truth. Unfortunately, the key to solving this little dilemma, is the very thing that isn't there: a strong male influence.

That's what you need to get, and get QUICK -- Either a divorced dad (rent-a-dad?, hey! what a great business idea!) or at the very least, a "Big Brother" program...SOMEBODY to spend some time with him (consistently) that is a strong male influence, and NOT playing Nintendo or computers or TV.

While taking away the Nintendo won't make your son have more friends, it WILL make him do SOMETHING besides avoid reality. He needs physical activity and he needs to be around good male role models, ESPECIALLY now that puberty is getting ready (or has) to rock n' roll. Some kind of physical club of boys? What are his interests beside computer stuff?

Please -- A big MUST to read for all parents, but especially single moms:"WHY GENDER MATTERS" by Leo Sax

Good luck!
C., RN

1 mom found this helpful

M. -

I have a 12 year old boy also. What you are describing is my son as well. My son has been diagnosed with high functioning classic autism. I use the book Social Stories by Carol Gray to help my son develop social skills. Social situations make him very anxious and uncomfortable. However, has greatly improved with a vew tools like the social stories.

Here are a few links that might be of interest to you..
http://health.yahoo.com/nervous-symptoms/autism-symptoms/...

http://www.amazon.com/New-Social-Story-Book-Illustrated/d...

You can reach me at ____@____.com

Best Regards

Jenn

this sounds very much like asperger's syndrome...it's a form of autism...maybe do some research, and see if he might have a lot of similarities with children with asperger's...

There could be many reasons for your sons behavior, but just because he is different one can't automatically assume that there is something "wrong" with him. He could be suffering from Asperger's or another form of social anxiety, and you should certainly check with his Pediatrician and possibly a Specialist to ensure that is or isn't the case. It could simply just be a case of being different and there is nothing wrong with that. I am not what you would consider a social butterfly, never have been. I was pretty much a loner throughout my school years. I have very few people I consider friends, but those people are genuine, honest, trustworthy friends whom I could trust with my most sacred thoughts and feelings. Sometimes less can be more. If he has a strong male figure in his life that's great, if not, check into a Big Brother program or something like that. Most importantly make sure to tell your son how special he is and how much you think of him, nuture his self esteem :)

I would schedule a meeting with his counselor to discuss your concerns. Additionally I would have him evaluated for depression and/or other issues. Good luck.

Have you tried finding a male mentor/positive role model for him? Is his father involved in his life? I know that some children are late bloomers, and you may want to seek the help of your church for advice on ideas of how to get your son involved with other boys that will be a good influence on him. Continue to love and encourage him. Let him know how important and valuable he is to you, to help him build up his self esteem. Help him to learn how to like himself and encourage him to say positive things about himself on a daily basis. I have a son who was challenged in the past with some of the same issues. He is 17 now, still somewhat quiet and shy at times, but he is a very smart, bright boy who tends to need encouragement to be his own man, his own person and make good decisions. I am confident that he will be just fine. He is well liked, handsome, but a bit introverted at times. He is graduating from high school this year, and I expect a continual positive transformation of his personality and character into his young adult years. Every child is different, so it is important that you talk with your child, continue to stay involved in his life, pray for him, and expect God to honor your prayers. I look forward to hearing good news about his transformation in the coming weeks!

God Bless!

Hi M.,

Your son sounds exactly like my 13yo Lora. She has Aspergers Syndrome. This is a high functioning type of autism where the child is totally lacking of social skills. They truly do not understand how to connect with others. Since they have no social skills, they are sometimes so desperate they'll tolerate "friends" such as your sons that steal from him, etc. It's definitely worth looking into. Hope this helps.
Pamo, Beckley, WV

Hi M., I am so sorry to read about your son's situation. I am a counselor but most of all I am a mom and I can relate to you because my daughter had similar simptoms that your son when she was younger.
I would suggest for you to first have his pediatrician just to check that he is in excellent physical health. Then I will take him to be evaluated by a psychologist to rule out depression or any other quemical imbalance and there I will have him evaluated by a Mental Health provider to rule out autism.

Also, please consider that since you are a single mother he is missing a male figure in his life who will help him develop his self-steem and do boys things. A mentoring program would be appropriate to look into.

I am sorry to add more things to your list to do, but you sound like you really want to help your boy and I commend you for that.

By the way, my daughter was diagnosed with autism and now she is receiving therapy for socialization.

Lucy

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