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5 year old too anxious to leave house

(8 Posts)
campingchocolate Tue 11-Jan-11 12:58:20

I am worried about my dd and wondered if anyone had any experience of anything similar....

My dd will do anything to avoid going out of the house. She wont get dressed,wont put shoes or socks on etc - with a lot of sobbing. She says that she is worried and it feels wrong but cant explain why. Even if we are going somewhere she wants to go (like swimming) - and she has been excited to go - when it comes to the leaving house moment, she hides in the cupboard. If I carry her out of the house and into the car she sobs. When we get wherever we are going she will refuse to put on shoes/get out car but if carried into wherever she will settle and then relax.

She also has a range of activities she does with her clothes/shoes to make them 'right'... various rituals and counting that have to be done in the right order and setting.

I realise this is not normal for a just 5 year old - but what to do?

Thanks for any thoughts/experiences

IndigoBell Tue 11-Jan-11 13:48:15

Hi Camping,

The things about her clothes being 'right' sounds like 'sensory processing disorder'.

SPD and Anxiety can be 'labels' in their own right, or can be symptoms of other conditions.

The thing to do now is to go to your GP and discuss your concerns. Try and get a referral to a paed who can look at the anxiety and other related conditions. The paed should then be able to refer you on to an OT (for SPD) and to a psychologist for the anxiety.

Some areas refer you to CAMHS instead of a paed (Child, Adolescent, Mental Health)

Good luck.

ommmward Tue 11-Jan-11 14:03:59

Maximise the time available for transitions for a while. And transitioning out of the house can be a really big deal.

help also with a comfort object? some people like to hide underneath a comfort blanket or under their mother's skirt to transition from one place to another.

Just let it be. It will pass, and the kinder and less pushy you can be while it is in place, the better chance you have of your child getting over the anxiety fast.

Just my opinion

beautifulgirls Tue 11-Jan-11 16:43:04

I agree with Indigo, speak to the GP to get her problems assessed and get the help you need to try and improve things. Hope it goes well.

milou2 Tue 11-Jan-11 18:53:24

Over time DS2, HFA, has stopped asking to do things outside the house and then deciding against it at the last moment.

We have just been patient and said things like 'well, maybe we can do x another time'. He has needed to build his trust in us gradually and we have had to learn to be trustworthy, loving and relaxed.

Often he will be out at the cafe and say he wants to go back home, so I know to make sure I have a drink or snack which I am ok about leaving when he is ready rather than after a longer time. It is worth it being patient. Seeing the improvements is fantastic

He is home educated which makes this easy. He is 13 now.

campingchocolate Tue 11-Jan-11 20:39:21


Thank you all for your ideas - much appreciated.

I think I am going to discuss with school and then see the GP - the things I mentioned have been going on since she was 3 and they seem to be getting worse/more specific rather than improving

Apart from finding it so hard that DD seems so sad much of the time - the thing that I struggle with is just getting on with daily life - I have a 7 year old who I have to get to school, take to football etc and every coming and going is a new prolonged episode of stress and crying and refusal to dress/leave etc.

Milou - what does HFA mean? sorry - new to all this

mumslife Tue 11-Jan-11 20:46:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Marne Tue 11-Jan-11 21:00:57

Dd1 went through a similar stage, she has Aspergers, she's now 7 and although she will go out, given the choice she would always opt to stay at home. It does sound like a sensory problem, to her something does not feel right, it could be related to sound, change in light, sound ect.

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