Hi, my 4 year old son has been seeing a speech therapist for several sessions and it has been tough going as he is 'zoning out' when he is confronted with a situation or question he doesnt like, or cant answer. The whole of the first 3 sessions were spent with the therapist trying just to make some form of contact with him.
She has asked me if there is any medical reason behind his behaviour and to be honest I dont know.
What happens is he will sit and stare at nothing, with no eye contact, like he is not there, sometimes during this he will blink slowly and 'heavily' if that makes sense, other times he will not do anything, he completely shuts off and no amount of persuasion or bribery will get him to 'come back'. I can even move him and he stays focused on nothing.
These episodes can last for 30 secs, 15 mins, but are always started by a situation where he doesnt feel comfortable.
Does this sound like normal behavior for this age?
none of my other children, nor his twin brother have ever done this.
No, the behavior is not within the normal spectrum. Children who display absence seizures would show the same general behavior as your son. What indicates that his behavior is not neurological in nature, though, is the correlation with situations that invite discomfort for him. I take it from your description that the behavior the speech therapist is observing is typical of your son in other situations and is not new to your experience. Some children can be somewhat phobic in some social situations and react by withdrawing and 'shutting down'. But there are also other reasons for such anxiety, and if you proceed with any evaluation, one by a pediatric mental health professional would be appropriate.
You have not give a lot of information but could your son suffer from very severe anxiety? You might want to do a search of "selective mutism" on the internet to see if these behaviours fit your son. If so, anxiety in young children is highly treatable.
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