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11 yr old son that rarely speaks

My 11 yr old son will barely speak to adults or his peers, he has always been shy, but this is becoming a serious problem. He has few friends at school, his only true friend is his cousin. He won't ask his teachers for help if needed, and when asked a question he answers with a head nod or yes or no. He will not elaborate to anyone. Despite all this he does do well in school, he made a "D" this term, which was his first grade under a "B", when I went on his school's website I saw it was because he hadn't turned in 3 homework assignments. He had missed the day prior and didn't turn in his homework the next day. When I asked him why he said he was too shy to walk to her desk. He is involved in sports and does well, though he won't talk to his coaches unless they ask him a question he will answer it with few words. I'm afraid my son feels left-out and lonely at school. I don't think he talks to a peer all day. He tells me he hates school because he has no friends. He will talk to me and his father. His social development seems to be normal in all other aspects. He does have a mild speech impediment, with pronouncing the "r" sound. He has overcome this but is still in the habit of substituting this sound, we just have to practice at home and correct him  when he pronounces a word wrong. His speech therapist says he will no longer need therapy after this year. I ask him if anyone makes fun of his speech and he says no, it's just that he is shy. He has low self-esteem and little confidence. What can I do to help my son, I have already began  searching for a child psychiatrist, is their anything else I can do?
1 Responses
242606 tn?1243782648
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Just be sure to keep him in the mix with social and recreational activities, like baseball, typical for his age. As time goes on he will be a bit less reticent about speaking, but his baseline is that of a shy temperament and he will likely always be toward that end of the spectrum. This situation is different from selective mutism, whereby children won't speak in certain situations. He is shy, but he can succeed in the world. It's a good idea to arrange the evaluation, mostly to determine if there is a social phobia or generalized anxiety involved. But perhaps there is not. Some children are by nature shy, particularly if there is a family history of same.
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