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By middle school, they may be avoiding all extracurricular activities and social events.And by high school, they may refuse to go to school and exhibit signs of depression.Parents can be sensitive to the anxiety these situations cause without isolating their children from them.With the help of professionals, parents can learn to be exposure therapists, encouraging and supporting a child through the social situations that cause anxiety.In young children, it may take the form of selective mutism, meaning that the child is afraid to speak in front of other kids, their teachers, or just about anyone outside of the immediate family.In elementary school, children with social phobia may start to refuse activities and you see kids dropping out of Scouts or baseball.
In contrast, children with social phobia will get very upset when they have to interact with people.(Read about SAD in children and adolescents.) Parents can help prevent social phobia from taking hold by being attuned to warning signs and symptoms.These questions highlight warning signs: If a parent observes these signs, a doctor or mental health professional can help evaluate the child and determine if the disorder is present.He’s a little shy.” The parent is stepping in to make the situation less stressful for their child, but a simple act like that can exacerbate the disorder because it does not help the child learn to manage the feelings and anxiety such an interaction invokes.We need parents to take a look at themselves and how they are helping their child navigate their way these sorts of everyday social interactions, rather than avoiding or going around them.
Shyness is a temperament; it is not debilitating the way social anxiety disorder is.