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5-year olds imaginary play in school

My 5-year old is seems in her own imaginary world of play lately.  Because of that she has troubles concentrating at school, and as the teacher is saying "making strange noises".  She is a home raised child and used to play all by herself, though she is not scared of the other kids, but would rather spend time with the children who are older and whom she knows well.  It does not look like autism at all, and just started 6 months ago when she was home with grandpa and the cat, and had nothing going on in her life and nobody to talk to for 6 months.
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Avatar universal
I wonder if you are dealing with anxiety.  Making "strange noises" in a perceived, unsafe environment (and school would fit this criteria) is one of the behaviours of anxiety.  I might suggest you ask your daughter's teacher the following questions:  is she able to speak to both peers and adults at school, is she able to use the washroom (and I mean actually use the facility and not just enter and pretend), is she able to eat at school, is she able to concentrate/learn at school, does she exhibit the "hesitation" factor - that is, is she slow to respond to directives and instructions, does she "play" with the other children at school, is she able to make her needs known (an example would be if she fell and hurt herself, would she be able to ask for help), is she able to initiate anything as conversation, play, or interaction of any sort.

I also might suggest you google the phrase "anxiety and school" or "behaviors of anxiety in children" or similar words/phrases.  Two questions I would like to ask of you - does she sleep well at night and does she have issues (tantrums, meldowns, etc) when returning home from school.  If so, let us know.  I wish you the best ....
Avatar universal
She just started a school a week ago, and, yes the techer is saying she is very hesitant to answer, even though he knows she is academically a bit ahead of other kids.  She is using the bathroom, and eats.  I doubt though she is asking to use the restroom, she would just get up and go.  She is not talking to other kids, but would not avoid being involved in activities with them when the teacher pulls her in.  I just hope it gets better with time.  She is not a very outgoing child in general, but she is very good running around with her older cousins.
Thanks for the advice, I'll definitely do an anxiety research.
Avatar universal
I just hope it gets better with time  --  your words


It should get better with patience, understanding, kindness and social interventions.  There are many intervention ideas you can use - volunteer at school functions, have playdates with children from her class, involve her in at least once activity as gymnastics, swimming, Sunday School (whatever) and giving her lots of down time when she comes home from school, visits to malls, McDonlad's, the local parks, etc.  I realize that she might not participate but that's O.K - it takes time (in our case, several years).

The fact she is not speaking can be a bit disconcerning.  Not being able to speak in a social environment is one of the behaviours of severe anxiety called "selective mutism".  Our child suffered from sm (as we refer to selective mutism) for over four years in school.  If your daughter is not speaking by Christmas, then this possibility is very real - but, it is not "the end of the world".  You  might wish to google that term (the best site on the internet is "selectivemutism.org") and one book you might wish to purchase is "The Ideal Classroom Setting for the Selectively Mute Child" by Elisa Shipon-**** which can be purchased from the site listed.  It is less than $20 and worth its weight in gold (has many ideas for sm children as well as children who suffer from anxiety).  By the way, your daughter is miles ahead of our child at this age so I doubt if her anxiety is severe.  But that does not mean the situation will solve itself.  Just for your information - our child was silent for two years before she began to make strange "noises" which continued for a few months - then she began to whisper for a year or so before the normal voice surfaced.  It does take time.

One more point - our child also "hung out" with older children.  I think it is because they feel more comfortable with an older child "looking after them" not because they are more mature.  In fact, most children who suffer from anxiety are relatively immature, especially in the social context and more advanced in the academic context.  Don't hesitate to contact me if you think that I can be of help - wishing you the best and good day ....
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