Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
Just need to write it down - social anxiety(5 Posts)
It's Friday morning and that feeling of anxiety start again with the looming of returning to school, my son has developed social anxiety to the point that he refuses to leave the house, during the half term we have only managed to walk to the local park and shop (but not go in). He woke up this morning and had a meltdown and said his not going out today or going to school on Monday. We are waiting to see the neurological team to get some help. But what do I do in the mean time just feel that I have lost total control and feeling really isolated. My daughter is amazing and understand her brothers problems and often goes to the shop for me and is able to visit friends but I feel like I'm letting her down. We use a visual timetable at home and we plan out our week in advance with thing and places he has visited before and I know he likes but when it come to going out he refuses to put his shoes on, Hides and refuse to communicate (go into total shut down) until he has got him self is such a state that I can't take him(the shut down can last for hours). He seem happy at home and we do lost of art, playing games, cooking and reading. I know I am making thing worse by giving in but don't know what else to do. Sorry just feel a bit better writing in all down.
you aren't necessarily making things worse by giving in. can you talk to the school? they need to be identifying the causes of the anxiety and working with you to get rid of them.
School is aware but also are unable to cope, at our ehc plan transfer meeting they said hat he need to attend a school that has more experience and access to resources like OT and teachers experienced in social anxiety. As he does not interact with anyone apart from the senco and his 1 to 1 does not go into class or outside at break/lunch times he spends his whole day in the library or senco room.
I dont think you are "giving in to him"! If you repeatedly make someone do something they are terrified of it doesnt stop them being terrified it just damages them!
I would firstly start to look for a school like that suggested by his current school.
I would also ask your GP to refer him to CAMHS although sadly you will probably have a long wait!
I'm not an expert and please ignore anything that seems wide of the mark, but have you looked into selective mutism strategies? These mainly focus around removing pressure or expectation to speak (or interact), so for example teachers don't ask direct questions, expect speech in any context, punish or even comment on any failure to speak or 'join in'. Any attempt at communication is accepted without fuss, eg nodding, thumbs up/down, pointing. Your DS would need to be aware that no speech or interaction is expected and that's ok.
Therapy is mostly focused on 'sliding in', which is gradual desensitisation to anxiety provoking situations. Eg a child from his class could come in and spend a few minutes with him and the TA in the library at a time, (doing an activity which doesn't focus on DS having to speak or interact) gradually increasing time and different children. Obviously the plan would need to be tailored to his needs and tolerance levels. It needs to be planned and carried out regularly and results can take a long time, so the school would have to be on board.
You can use the techniques out of school as well of course, gradual steps on a 'desensitisation ladder' to doing things like shopping, visiting, going to the park.
There's an organisation called SMIRA (Selective Mutism Info & Resource Assoc), they have a website and Facebook group with lots of info if you think it would be helpful.
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