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My son is severely shy
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My son is severely shy

My son is 11 yrs old. He rarely speaks in school to teachers or peers.I thought he was an introvert but he does not exhibit many of those signs. He has a mild speech problem with the articulation of the letter "r". His only true friend is his cousin. He seems to lack self-confidence and self-esteem. He does not seem to be a happy child. He will not open up to me or his father. He won't talk on the phone. He is involved in sports and excels in that area but he still keeps to himself. He says he hates school but he won't tell me why. He does well in school and keeps an A to B average. He missed a day of school and instead of turning in his homework for the previous day he received a "0". When I asked him why he did not turn his homework in he said he was too shy. He takes his frustration out on me or his father, he has hit us ans curses us on a regular basis. He would never act out towards another adult. He is an only child and I wish I could of given him a brother or sister but I had cancer and that was not a possibility. His father is in the home, he has never suffered any abuse, I am at a loss and it breaks my heart to see him at lunch or recess alone because he is too shy too approach anyone. When he was younger I would  help make his playmates for him, but I can't do that now. Please give me some advise, I don't know how to help my son become more social and to face his fears. Having a child hurt inside is unbearable, do I need for us to seek professional help?
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I strongly suspect your son is suffering from anxiety - social anxiety and/or selective mutism.  I might suggest you google the phrase "anxiety and children" or "social anxiety and children" or "selective mutism" or words/phrases similar to those.  Then I think you need to visit your family doctor and ask for assistance.  If he/she is unable to help you, ask for a referral to a medical specialist with experience in anxiety disorders as a child psychiatrist or child neurologist.

Anxiety is a very common mental health issue in children; however, it does become more difficult to treat as the child gets older.  Your son is in the "older" category.  Please seek help immediately as your son will not outgrow this nor will it go away.  But, there is help out there and treatment (which usually consists of intervention, therapy and possibly medication) can make a huge difference in the life of your son.  I wish you the best ....
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I appreciate your advise, I am seeking a child psychologist to address these problems that we were hoping would just go away, but I see now it won't. thanks again, Dawn
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My Granddaughter is very shy and anxious. When she was first starting to talk she was fine. After a couple of years she stopped talking to everybody except her Dad, Mom, and myself. Sometimes she will talk to Grampy. She won't talk to any of us if anyone else is around. Finally they are getting her to speak up enough so they can hear her. If you try different things with her she cries like her heart is broken.. She rarely talks to her best friend. She is now 11.
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