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Socially Awkward 8 year old

Posted by on Sep. 23, 2014 at 1:52 PM
  • 13 Replies

Hi guys, I'm a newbie here. Im looking for some advice and help with my 7 soon to be 8 year old. To give a brief background, since he was 2 he has had some sensory issues and has needed speech therapy for his appraxia. I'm concerned about his social akwardnesss, because now that he is older, I'm finding out that he does not play with other kids during recess. He sits away from everyone and reads a book. He's already excluding himself and I want to help with his social issues/ fears now before it get's real worrisome. He's naturally an introvert and I've heard not to push his boundaries but I'm not sure how to help him overcome his anxieties on meeting new people. I'm also concerned of his low motor skills. Although, he may not like it and is not interested the slightest bit in sports, I'm considering putting him in a team sport to help make friends and help with this. I feel sad that he can't even dribble a ball correctly. 

Advice, tips / reccomendations are appreciated! 

by on Sep. 23, 2014 at 1:52 PM
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by Member on Sep. 23, 2014 at 3:16 PM
Cafemom has a sensory processing disorder group as well as a special needs group.

I would suggest that you also post this question in one of those groups in addition to this post.

If he has anxiety about being around people I wouldn't consider Him to be an Introvert.

As for sports since he's not a people person have you considered. Karate or swimming to improve his motor skills. I wouldn't put him in team sports.

Maybe you can find a social skills group near you. Maybe a book club.

Will your insurance cover additional Occupational Therapy outside of school?

Good luck
by Gold Member on Sep. 23, 2014 at 3:48 PM
One thing i did with my son that was struggling making friends was to pick a tip on how to make friends/be afriend and we practiced it all week.

For example - ask others about themselves. So i would give him instruction "today you need to talk to one person you are not friends with and find out something new about them that they like."

Or "to be a good friend means sometimes doing things you do not really like to do so this week join in whatever game the group is playing."

He is now friends with his whole class. :)
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by Maria on Sep. 23, 2014 at 4:07 PM
I wouldn't force him to do a team sport he will probably resent you for it and close off even more.
by Platinum Member on Sep. 23, 2014 at 4:18 PM
At our school, the guidance counselors have a "Lunch Bunch" where they take a small group of kids and have lunch with them. Each kid is allowed to bring a friend. It helps fosters good friendships in a small, controlled environment. See if your school has a similar program.

As for the sports, maybe try a sport where he can participate on his own like swimming or karate. I'm not sure I would push him onto a team.
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by Bronze Member on Sep. 23, 2014 at 4:19 PM
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Like DACIA79 said there is a group called Raising Special Needs Kids and I am in that group. The ladies there have a lot of experience dealing with subjects like this. My lo lacks an understanding of social cues so even tho she has lots of kids that she plays with she runs into problems. I am working with her on it but it takes time and using things that come up during the day to help her understand what is going on and what she should and shouldn't do. 

by on Sep. 23, 2014 at 4:24 PM
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 Please don't try and push a team sport onto him, that will just make it miserable for him, you, and the other players. As  a mom to sporty kids, it is very hard for them to have a child on their team that isn't interested in playing that sport. It's not because they are not tolerant of others, it is just because they are there to learn to play the game and it takes up a lot of the coaches time when they have to concentrate on getting a child to play that has no interest.

by Emerald Member on Sep. 23, 2014 at 4:29 PM

I am going to also suggest a social skills group, ask your school or pediatrician for a recommendation.  As far as sports goes, I wouldn't push it if that isn't his thing, he will end up hating it and that won't help anyone.  I'd also look into OT for him, that will greatly improve his motor skills.

Has he been evaluated for the Autism Spectrum?  I only ask because a lot of his delays are common among those on the spectrum.  A diagnosis would help him receive social skills and OT.

by Silver Member on Sep. 23, 2014 at 4:31 PM
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I know people hate them, but please consider Boy Scouts. They are really good at helping kids with those social skills. I agree with the PP about the team sports. It is not a good idea if he is not interested to put him in a league, however, park and recs often have classes geared to help teach team sports. Some even teach different sports each week and just being in a class playing with the same kids may help.
by on Sep. 23, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Great points and tips. He was on a swim team when he was 6 but this didn't help much. So I was considering a team sport. I do agree with @waytomanykids10  i didn't initially see it from this perspective...It's not fair to all, especially the rest of the team. So maybe forcing, is not the best idea. Thanks for all your help! 

by on Sep. 23, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Boy Scouts is something he may enjoy. Thanks for pointing this out :) I'll have to look into this some more. And yes, when he was ages 2-3 he had two therapists (one for speech and one OT)  and his speech suggested Autism and the other strongly opposed it. However, I may have him evaluated again to help with his motor skills. 

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