Do any of these describe your son?
- Avoid social interactions with similar-age peers and prefers to be with younger kids or adults
- Say “No” to anything new or unfamiliar
- Gets upset/angry when he needs to step outside his comfort zone
- Says “friends” are people he plays video games with online but knows nothing about them
- Feels he is being judged by peers
Some important things to know about social anxiety:
Most boys cannot articulate if they have social anxiety because boys do not talk about social anxiety. As a result, most boys believe they are the only one who has it.
Both professionals and parents often mistake social anxiety for difficulty with social skills. They are two separate issues and need to be addressed through different approaches.
Well-meaning parents often feel at a loss as how to manage their son’s social anxiety. As a result, many do the opposite of what they should be doing which is accommodating their son’s social anxiety by allowing him to retreat into a virtual world of video game “friends”.
Boys who present with ADHD and anxiety require a specialized approach.
Social anxiety is common in boys diagnosed with ADHD as well as learning disabilities yet often mistaken for difficulty with social skills. They are two different issues in which social anxiety must be addressed first.
The focus of our work is teaching strategies to push through anxiety producing situations, develop self-advocacy skills and independent problem solving skills. Additionally, we teach parents how to help their sons develop resiliency and to not enable their avoidance behaviors.
If you would like to help your son learn to manage his social anxiety, improve his self-confidence and ability to connect with same-age peers please contact Ryan below to discuss next steps.