The psychologist and the boy

The boy has started seeing a pychologist for his social anxiety problems.

He can’t look at or talk to people he doesn’t know, and in unfamiliar situations he ‘shuts down’ altogether. By shut down I mean that his head goes down and he stands completely still, usually behind me or the man. He sometimes puts his hands over his ears so he cannot hear as well. You could be talking to a brick wall for all you know…

So of course we go to the psychologist for this reason, but well, he won’t talk to her for the same reason.

What makes it even more frustrating is that I feel the psychologist should know how to deal with this… but she seems at a loss as well. I was just sitting there waiting for her to come up with something else to try but she seemed to be waiting for me to take charge of it. I am not an expert, just a worried parent that is fed up with having to come up with answers.

I know that we should give it a few more attempts before giving up, but I am not sure. I know the boy does end up warming to some people, but often not.

There are people in our family that he has known since he was born that he still will not look at. Luckily they don’t take it personally. Friends of mine think nothing of the boy sitting in my car out the front of their houses whilst I am inside with them, because he is too worried to get out of the car to come in. Usually this is just for the first visit somewhere – after that he is ok to come in and be social. He is in their driveways, and the car is unlocked so he can get out and come in at any time. It is just how he is!

How do we help him?

Maybe I am just being lazy and looking for an easy way out. If I don’t take him then I don’t have to put in the hard yards? Hmm…

The psychologist said that she could just work with me to help him at home, that means that I see her to go through the activities for which he will then do with me or the man at home. Better than nothing I guess.

We need to be able to help him, give him some tools for his life and how to cope in different situations. I am not looking to change him into the most confident and popular boy in school (although he is pretty popular anyway), just give him some more confidence to do some of the things he loves without worrying himself sick over them.

Maybe we see a different psychologist? He has seen this one twice now and if we found another one then we would be starting again at the beginning…

Or wait until he is a little older?

Arghh!! I just want to bury my head in the sand sometimes and not have to make any decisions about anything.