Jul
13
2011

  W's Social Phobia

I tried to take W and M to see the magician at the elementary school today, but he was having none of it. He started crying and carrying on while we were in the hallway before we even made it into the auditorium. I was in the hallway trying to figure out what was freaking him out so much when the librarian came out to see if "everything was ok". She guessed maybe it was the music that scared him (could be). Regardless, she had to close the doors to the auditorium because W's crying was scaring the kids inside, they thought something was wrong. Good grief.

Shortly after that, W stopped crying, but he wouldn't take one step nearer the entrance to the auditorium. There were some windows on the other side of the hallway we could have peeked into, but he wasn't interested. He didn't even want me to walk over there and look in, he started to cry if I stepped away from him.

I decided I'd try to get him to look in the windows from the outside, which he did consent to do.

He said he was afraid of the people. But when I finally got him to look in the windows, I asked him if the people in there looked nice, or if they looked scary, and he quickly replied that they all looked like they were nice. But he still didn't want to go in. I asked if he saw anyone smiling, and if he thought they were having a good time. He reported that he did indeed see people smiling, and they did seem to be having a good time. Yet still he wanted to go to the car and go home.

At this point, I consented to go home, because it was @#$# hot out and I was tired of sitting on the pavement outside the venue trying to reason with him. But this may be the last activity I try to take him to. He didn't freak out as bad last week, but he kept saying "all done" while we were in the auditorium and he did manage to get me to leave early by saying he wanted to go sit with his friends L and D but when we got up to them he ran out the door instead.

T says he was the same when he was a kid, and didn't manage to get over his social anxiety until his 30s. His mother also concluded that it was not worth taking a kid to group activities if he was just going to scream and be terrified. I think I will let T tackle the job of getting W used to crowds if he wants to do that. He thinks he knows how W is feeling because he felt the same way as a kid, so he's got some insight into how to calm him down. I might ask the pediatrician about baby Xanax. Although I suspect the answer is not to give a 2-year-old meds, but to just shelter him until he's old enough to reason and communicate better (probably another year) and then maybe start cognitive behavioral therapy or something if he hasn't outgrown the anxiety by then. T thinks this is not something W will outgrow because T didn't outgrow it.

The thing is, there are just as many people and also music at church, but W is fine at church, not scared at all. T says it is because W is used to going to church, and he's not used to these library programs. Hmmm. But how is he supposed to GET used to the programs if he freaks out before he even enters the room? T wants us BOTH to go with W next week, but I don't know that I'm up for it. It seems whenever we do things as a family, W and T ignore me completely so I feel as though I might as well stay home. We'll see how I feel next week.