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7 year old boy with social issues
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7 year old boy with social issues

My son is quite smart, funny and bright. He is in good health and appears to be happy. He does have a few tics that affect him like facial grimacing and shoulder shrugs. We are aware of it and understand he could grow out of it. He seems to get the tics when he is bored or there is no direction or structure. It can get pretty bad and "take him over" at times. We have tried to find ways to tie it to other things like sleep or food but with no concrete results. The tics are not the problem though, just some background. My son does not act like most boys his age. He has no interest in sports, group activity, or "typical boy stuff".  We are okay with that, but we need help trying to figure him out. He doesn't make many new friends because kids think he is weird (we have even heard old friends tell him that). He does not seem to be able to relate to them. He has no aggressive tendencies. He likes reading, gameboy and tv. He often goes off into "La la land" where he talks to himself, giggles about something he remembers, but just seems to be off in space. He can sit on the toilet and be there for 20 minutes, long after he has done his business, just daydreaming. It is like he can be in "la la land" and forget what he is doing.   Many behaviors he exhibits are feminine, like if he is happy about something he acts coy and bats his eyelashes and puts his hands up near his face. He likes hip hop dancing but can tend to do more feminine moves. He knows he is a boy and doesn't wish to be a girl (he says). My wife and I are supportive of whatever will make him happy, it doesn't matter to us what he wants as long as it makes him happy. I believe we communicate that to him quite well. We tell him that other kids may tease him if he acts that way, but that does not make him stop the behavior. Maybe he just does that at home? He is an A-B student and then might get D's one week. Most other parents love him because he is quiet and not boisterous like other boys his age. He is in Cub Scouts and there is quite a contrast between him and the other kids. His teacher told us she was concerned because he doesn't seem to make friends. Even in Phys. Ed he is off on his own rather than play in an organized event. He is a great kid, we just want to understand him. He asks some bizarre questions that we may not understand right away, then he gets frustrated when we can't answer them. Our family life is stable, he has a 4 year old sister that he has a good relationship with. Any ideas? Thanks.
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Your description suggests that your son may display what are often called symptoms of 'atypicality'. Such symptoms, particularly when they influence social relatedness, are often witnessed in children who exhibit some variant of developmental disorder. This may not at all be the case with your son, but it's worth investigating. Another possibility is that he displays a non-verbal learning disability, wherein the major obstacle is in relation to social interaction. Such children can find it difficult to read normal social cues and they often appear a bit 'out of it', so to speak, and come across to their peers as different or odd. In order to clarify what might be occurring with your son, it would be wise to arrange an evaluation with a child psychologist. My giess is that the same behaviors you observe at home are also presnt in out-of-home settings, and the behaviors are at the root of the feedback your son receives, even from friends.
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