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To be quite worried about my daughter's extreme shyness?

(161 Posts)
21stCenturyDropout Tue 02-Jul-13 21:22:44

I am getting increasingly worried and frustrated about my 5 year old Dd. She is a lovely child, really creative and funny and doesn't stop chatting when she is around her close family.
However, she started school in September and has found it hard to be part of group activities or anything that involves speaking or being centre of attention. So far we have had to watch her struggle through school activities like the nativity play and sports day. She couldn't even look up during her nativity play. Every parents evening her teacher says she is doing fine. Not the most outgoing child, but quietly confident doing her own thing, which is encouraging. But she can't bring herself to speak to adults who try to engage with her, and takes a very long time to warm up in social situations. Her birthday party was really awful as she couldn't even bring herself to sit at the table with the other children. I felt so embarrassed and ashamed that my child is so lacking in confidence.
My husband and I were both shy as kids, and still find some social situations a strain. I understand that some people are introverts and that it can be a real strength in life to be more sensitive. But I am so worried for her future. I don't want her to go through life missing out and feeling socially crippled.
What can I do to help her? I am so desperate to help her through this.

claw2 Thu 04-Jul-13 21:13:25

"In my experience and that of many other parents I know whose children have SNs of some sort, professionals are very reluctant to diagnose children with any sort of disorder"

My experience exactly, it took us 3 and half years to get a diagnosis.

"I have come across several teaching staff who have a rigid view that identifying a particular need in a child is labeling them in a negative way and that it should be avoided"

Again my experience exactly, it was due to ill informed or inexperienced teachers, that prolonged the whole diagnosis process and in fact was very detrimental to the support that ds received and made his behaviour far worse.

ilikemysleep Thu 04-Jul-13 20:49:13

Cracking post up there, Goldmandra. (not the puppy one, lovely though that is, the long one smile ) You said more or less what I was trying and failing to say. Thanks.

Goldmandra Thu 04-Jul-13 20:41:47

All seems to be forgiven. She is now rolling round the living room floor being jumped on and licked by the puppy and the Jack Russell. She's in heaven.

I just have to source and new blue and green globe stress ball now.

I blame the OP for starting such a stimulating thread that I forgot to move it before leaving the room wink

claw2 Thu 04-Jul-13 19:59:44

Oh yes Goldmandra smile or when puppy does a runner with a little Moshi Monster figure which ds has carefully lined up in a lovely neat row with all other figures, which NO ONE is allowed to touch!

Although he is forgiven, eventually! Ds chats away to him for hours and has connection with him, he just doesn't take to humans in the same way, puppies are far less complicated!

Goldmandra Thu 04-Jul-13 19:43:15

We even covered puppies, which i would highly recommend for socially awkward kids, what more could you ask for!

Agreed, apart from when said child loses it about the chewed up stress ball. We'd just tidied that bedroom too sad

claw2 Thu 04-Jul-13 19:39:24

We even covered puppies, which i would highly recommend for socially awkward kids, what more could you ask for!

MumuDeLulu Thu 04-Jul-13 19:33:15

And covered all the pros and cons of Normalising-wait&see v. Investigating-treating.

claw2 Thu 04-Jul-13 19:25:02

I was just thinking the same, how it turned into an interesting respectful discussion!

MumuDeLulu Thu 04-Jul-13 19:17:20

Blimey! An AIBU thread about possible SN / possible far end of 'ordinary' in which the vast majority of posts are respectful and possibly very helpful.

We need to report it. Is this a record?

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 04-Jul-13 19:10:01

Lol don't worry and I'm sure what you say is true.

claw2 Thu 04-Jul-13 19:07:51

Sorry, I wasn't ignoring you, had to take said puppy for a walk!

I suppose it is a case of what came first the chicken or the egg or in this case the condition or investment in pharmaceutical industry.

It is much like the education 'industry' of SN's and provision, where the government have the monopoly on assessment and provision. The same person is responsible for sub contracting assessments of needs, as is providing of provision and purse strings.

Regardless of finance gain, I am sure there are many who have been crippled with severe depression, some maybe even suicidal who have welcomed those drugs/help/support to enable them to function.

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 04-Jul-13 18:58:22

Awww how sweet! (from someone many miles away through the internet and not cleaning up the mess!)

Goldmandra Thu 04-Jul-13 17:57:20

ps I wish I had a puppy.

Careful what you wish for! I've just had to manage the mayhem cause by our puppy chewing up a favourite stress ball in the 30 seconds I left the room to go to the toilet!

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Thu 04-Jul-13 17:54:53

I am sorry to hear your child has SN, Gold sad. Deep end would not help her, I agree. Fingers crossed though that OP's child is NT and things will resolve in time for her.

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 04-Jul-13 17:52:38

ps I wish I had a puppy.

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 04-Jul-13 17:48:45

Claw: it is not uncontroversial. You come down on one side of the argument. There is another.

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 04-Jul-13 17:46:31

"Of the 170 DSM panel members 95 (56%) had one or more financial associations with companies in the pharmaceutical industry. One hundred percent of the members of the panels on 'Mood Disorders' and 'Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders' had financial ties to drug companies. The leading categories of financial interest held by panel members were research funding (42%), consultancies (22%) and speakers bureau (16%)."

Goldmandra Thu 04-Jul-13 17:29:45

In my experience and that of many other parents I know whose children have SNs of some sort, professionals are very reluctant to diagnose children with any sort of disorder. The very last thing they want to do is single children out, draw attention to their differences, make a big thing about special treatment or label them.

Quite the opposite is the case in fact. We have just reluctantly accepted been informed that my DD2 needs increased support in school and the biggest concern expressed by the professionals involved in any discussion about her is how to offer her support without making it apparent either to her or to her peers.

All teachers use strategies to support the needs and learning of individual children dozens, if not hundreds of times every single day in the classroom. That is part and parcel of understanding and getting the best from the children they are working with. Suggested strategies for working with a child who is shy have already been identified on this thread and I know these will have been used in classrooms all across the country throughout today.

Teachers can't be expected to be experts in every illness or disability and sometimes they need advice from specialists to help them to fully understand and meet the needs of a particular child, possibly by adjusting their approach slightly or offering helpful group activities. With SM these could be simply slight extensions of what the teacher would already do for a shy child and there's no reason for them to cause negative experiences.

Where a parent has a serious concern about their child's ability to access normal, everyday activities or the impact a difficulty is having on their self esteem, it is perfectly appropriate for them to consider asking for specialist advice. Sometimes the wait for that advice will be long and the problem will resolve itself in the meantime which is great.

I have come across several teaching staff who have a rigid view that identifying a particular need in a child is labeling them in a negative way and that it should be avoided. I find this attitude quite bizarre as I am yet to see an incidence of a child I know being put at a serious disadvantage as a result of having a diagnosis which explains their additional needs. I have, however, seen countless examples of children being severely and repeatedly damaged when labeled as naughty, disobedient, difficult, challenging, manipulative, lazy, willful, attention seeking, selfish, rude, anti-social, spoilt, etc due to the fact that their additional needs have not been assessed and identified.

Clumsy oafs, of course, exist in all walks of life and there's always a chance that someone inept could make the whole thing worse for a child. This person could be, but is unlikely to be, a specialist who has been brought in to help. It could just as easily be a parent, lunchtime supervisor, teacher, TA or GP. It isn't a reason not to look for support if a child needs it and the specialist could be the person who spots someone who thinks throwing the child in the deep end is the way to go and sorts them out smile.

claw2 Thu 04-Jul-13 17:04:30

Crumbled seems you have 'labelled bereavement grief which lasts "too long" - as a psychiatric illness' confused with DSM lifting "bereavement exclusion” — a DSM-IV rule that instructed clinicians not to diagnose major depressive disorder (MDD) after the recent death of a loved one (bereavement) — even when the patient met the usual MDD criteria.

"Unfortunately, the DSM-5’s decision continues to be misrepresented in the popular media.

Consider, for example, this statement in a recent (5/15/13) Reuters press release:

“Now [with DSM-5], if a father grieves for a murdered child for more than a couple of weeks, he is mentally ill.”

This statement is patently false and misleading. There is nothing in the elimination of the bereavement exclusion that would label bereaved persons “mentally ill” simply because they are “grieving” for their lost loved ones. Nor does the DSM-5 place any arbitrary time limit on ordinary grief, in the context of bereavement — another issue widely misrepresented in the general media, and even by some clinicians.

By removing the bereavement exclusion, the DSM-5 says this: a person who meets the full symptom, severity, duration and impairment criteria for major depressive disorder (MDD) will no longer be denied that diagnosis, solely because the person recently lost a loved one. Importantly, the death may or may not be the main, underlying cause of the person’s depression. There are, for example, many medical causes for depression that may happen to coincide with a recent death"

claw2 Thu 04-Jul-13 16:49:18

Oops excuse my grammar, I have a puppy pulling on my shoe laces!

claw2 Thu 04-Jul-13 16:46:50

I would also point out that you don't NOT have to accept a diagnosis. So if they have now labelled bereavement grief which lasts "too long" - as a psychiatric illness, it must be because it has been debilitating for the people suffering with it.

If someone who is suffering from grief for 'too long' didn't want the diagnosis or thought it was a load of rubbish. They do not have a) seek help in the first place or b) accept a diagnosis.

claw2 Thu 04-Jul-13 16:41:58

Im not so sure about that, as with all NHS services the government is constantly cutting spending/budgets and in a lot of cases services are simply not available to many. All services in my experience are often offered incentives to save money.

I feel uncomfortable with the implication that diagnosis are made up, rather than recognised, it takes me back 50 years to when parents were to blame for ASD for being cold mothers. Or when bad parenting was reasonable for ADHD or when all people suffering from depression just needed a kick up the arse.

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 04-Jul-13 16:28:18

As in the people who write it are more likely to be linked with the people who get the money. grin

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 04-Jul-13 16:27:43

Yes Claw tb fair I wasn't talking about the NHS but the DSM manual smile

claw2 Thu 04-Jul-13 16:26:27

That hasn't been my experience of the mental health service, quite the opposite in fact, they often decline referrals, extremely long waiting lists and very reluctant to diagnose. Diagnosis = help and support = spending money. I would say its in their best interest not to diagnosis unless absolutely necessary.

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