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HELP! 5 year old maybe claustraphobic

(7 Posts)
Thisisme1 Wed 21-Sep-16 14:23:41

Need some advice guys - please help
My son is a very confident and social child - he has recently started school which is why this has come light.

I feel I have missed some really obvious signs of him being claustrophobic and mistaken it for being impatient/clingy to me. EG
1. He cannot be in the car for a long amount of time - I thought this was impatience to get to where we have said. He asks repeatedly - its not far is it? Is it 5minutes etc
2. He will not ever allow me to leave him in the car (doors closed and locked ) in case say I forget something in house and literally need a few seconds to grab it whilst he is in the drive way - save me taking him and his sister out the car seats. He literally goes mad crying so I don't do it.
3. I'm not allowed to go to the bathroom at home with the door locked - he literally goes mental.
Even if he hears a door closing about the place he screams to check I am still there.

He has started school and seems to like it. They have music 2 days a week and he is unable to attend as he is really upset. The best information I can get is the following:

-I don't like the teacher - this is actually untrue as if he was frightened he wouldn't talk to him outside the class and high 5 him in the playground?!
-the music is too loud - its not we checked with school and he played it to us
-I feel tired
-I don't feel comfortable in there
-He locked the door and I'm not allowed to go toilet- not this one gets me - I believe the teacher closed the door and its scared him so much he cannot face going in the room. If he's being denied the toilet that's not acceptable but it could be they know he's making excuses to get out of there

I'm not exaggerating am I? this sounds like he is scared of being stuck inside so is claustrophobic?

What do I do - have tried a few things like staying with him and showing him how doors lock and unlock and also doing a role play so he gets comfortable with the teacher - I understand door is closed so noise doesn't disrupt the whole school

I feel so awful that I didn't pick up on this! and everyone is forcing him and probably making the fear worse!!

mummy2zni Wed 21-Sep-16 14:31:13

No experience of this myself so went to the www to educate myself. Came across this & although child in this story is 8 years old, there may be some tips in there you could use? flowers

mummy2zni Wed 21-Sep-16 14:32:08

Helps if I include the link hmm
www.parents-space.com/claustrophobia-in-children/

Thisisme1 Wed 21-Sep-16 14:48:10

Great will check out
feeling so sad sad

Peterandrew29 Fri 14-Oct-16 22:10:11

Has it ever been suggested that your son shows some signs of Autism Spectrum.
It's the dislike of noise. Repeating the questions . The feeling tired. Clingy .

It might be worth having a word with your GP . I would certainly get this behaviour checked out. The biggest issue in Asbergers is anxiety.

I hope you find your answers soon.xx

FATEdestiny Fri 14-Oct-16 22:31:05

My DD, now 12, is claustrophobic. She always had been and it was clearly evident aged 5 with things like:

Refusal to close bathroom door
Refusal to close both cubicle and main door in public toilets
Refusing going into any lifts
She will never knowing enter a lower than ground floor level in a building.
She wont go in any room without windows
She wont go visit any caves, submarines, aquariums are difficult.

Anyway, my point is that while she definately is claustrophobic (she had got a lot better with age and maturity), she doesn't show any of the other symptoms you mention.

Things like disliking noise environments, talk if things being 'uncomfortable' tiredness, clingy, impatience - these all sound like autistic spectrum symptoms.

I'm terms of how to help. I'm not expert but we accept but don't pander. We know her limits. We give lots of notice and pre-warning regarding potential triggers. We expect her to try but don't force the issue if she refuses. She's never allowed to affect anyone else, so she wouldn't insist I leave my door open in the bathroom. Peer pressure helps - she's done things on school trips she'd refuse at home because her mates are there.

Peach9876 Fri 14-Oct-16 22:55:55

It's so hard to tell when they are so young (and for quite a while yet) if he is clingy etc or if he's just anxious and doesn't know how to tell you.
Would he stay on the drive or sit on a stool or something while you nipped back inside?

All his reasons about music class could point to something like autism, but could also be what a 5 year old will think up to get him out of a room that causes him anxiety.
I'd look at speaking to a GP and doing some 'experiments' at home and out and about. If he will play in the garden whilst you nip to the loo then I wouldn't call him clingy. Is there anyway you could have someone watch him out of a window (without him knowing) or something while you disappear from view.

How does he react to loud noises at home? How is he is you have to walk somewhere? Does he need constant chatter, something to focus on, wandering off, or is he just happy walking?
Things like this would help a councillor and you identify if it's 'just' claustrophobia or something else going on too.

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