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abhi_carter
abhi_carter asks:
Q:

How to make my son social and communicative?

my son is 5 years old and is very shy talking to people and participating in any social activity. He talks a lot at home but does not actually communicates. You know what I mean. I mean he tells lot and lot of stories to us, all himself made, fantasies; may be he tries to communicate with us through them. He wants to play "in" the other children but not "with" them. I mean he likes other children around but does not actually be social with them. When other kids try to talk to him he communicates by just nodding. He gives answers to our questions, he many times asks questions to us. This way he can talk but the communication is 1-2 liners. He does not sit with us for a minute and exchange sentences. He was lot worse 2 years back but there are signs of improvement. Please tell me how to handle him.
P.S.: there were some symptoms of mild autism in him when he was 1 year old, like always lining up all his toys.
In Topics: Self esteem and identity, Autism & Aspergers Syndrome, Friendships and peer relationships
> 60 days ago

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Expert

MomSOS
Mar 10, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

I can understand your concern re your son; however, I would encourage you not to be too worried at this point, especially since there are signs of improvement.  Children learn social skills in stages and phases as they develop.  Stories and fantasies are often the way children communicate and this in itself is not a concern.  You can pick up on some of the themes and see if he will engage in a conversation that relates back to himself.  You can also plan play dates to be sure he gets together with other children. Practice helps build the skills.

You can also make a point of speaking with his teacher if he is in Kindergarten which he may be at 5. See what the teachers notice and they may also have some ideas re encouraging his social development.

If you continue to be worried, or if he you feel he is showing significant signs of anxiety along with the shyness (For example,expressing fears, having chronic difficulty sleeping, or on a regular basis, not wanting to do the things he usually enjoys)you may want to talk about this with your pediatrician.

Your doctor or the school may recommend testing to rule out emotional problems or symptoms on the autistic spectrum.

For now, I would say, enjoy him. Have fun with him.  He sounds like an interesting and creative little boy.

Bette J. Freedson, LICSW, LCSW, CGP
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Additional Answers (2)

Marjie
Marjie writes:
Hi. My son is similar in personality. He's almost 12 now. The most important thing that I did as a parent is to help him to be more comfortable (rather than less shy) in social situations. Many birthday parties I attended with him, until he was comfortable, and then I would leave for just a little while... sometimes I was not able to leave at all. Another plan was to arrange play dates with only one other child, and play along if necessary to encourage interaction.
It might also be helpful to have him evaluated by a psychologist. There are techniques they can use to help him understand how to be more comfortable in social settings... I've found this to be very beneficial to my son.
Best to you and your son,
Marjie

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abhi_carter
abhi_carter writes:
Thanks a lot Bette and Marjie. That was a warm and encouraging response. We both really appreciate it.

And thanks education.com for providing such support to the parents.
> 60 days ago

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