Childhood social disorder is a mental health condition that can interfere with a child's social and academic development. The condition is more serious than the regular anxiety that many young people experience at different points in their development, and children with the disorder often feel overwhelmed with fear when they are in certain social settings. Parents and teachers can take proactive measures to help children with this condition cope better in school and other social situations so that these young people can work through their challenges with less difficulty and more support.
Learn About the Symptoms
Children who have childhood social disorder often exhibit certain signs that parents and teachers shouldn't overlook. By learning how to recognize these symptoms, parents and teachers can work with a child to create a safe plan that may alleviate some of their worries while helping them overcome certain challenges that are often associated with the condition. Some signs that parents and teachers should watch for include:
- Avoidance of social situations
- Poor academic performance
- A willingness to only socialize with familiar people
- Sadness or anger that may result in crying or throwing tantrums in social settings
- Physical problems, such as a racing heart, nausea, or speaking difficulties in social situations
Practice Positive Social Interactions
Children who have the disorder often have trouble engaging in conversations or recognizing social cues, and parents and teachers can help these kids learn good social habits that can make coping with the condition easier. Practicing greetings and good conversation starters with these children can help instill more self-confidence in social settings. Listening and responding exercises may further help kids with childhood social disorder engage better socially and expand their circle of friends.
Use Calming Strategies
Things can be done to help children feel calmer both physically and mentally when anxiety starts to intensify. The effects of childhood social disorder can often be lessened in social settings when deep breathing is practiced to reduce heart rate and feelings of stress. Making a deliberate attempt to hold tension in certain muscles for a few seconds and then relaxing them may further help promote more calmness throughout the mind and body. Yoga and meditation exercises may also help a child with the condition develop a calmer mindset that carries over into many areas of life.
Seeing a therapist may be the best option if other strategies haven't been so effective. The therapist can give the child more one-on-one attention and try additional treatment methods that may offer promising results. A childhood social disorder plan for treatment may include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is often effective in changing a person's thoughts and behaviors for the better.
No child should be forced to suffer in silence with childhood social disorder. With the right support from parents and teachers, children with the condition can move out of the dark and into a brighter, more positive life.