I need help in deciding whether my 3 yr old son is going to need to go to therapy or not. Right now I am having a problem with him being able to socialize with other children. He has never been in daycare, I've been a stay at home mom for two years, and he has not entered into a pre-school program yet. The issue is that whenever we go to the park or anywhere in public where there are other children, he doesn't just shy away, he panics and starts crying and screaming that he wants to go home. If I even suggest going to the library for story time, or to the park to play he starts crying and screaming that he doesn't want to go. I am at a loss as to what to do, and I want to be able to enter him into a pre-school program within the next year without me having a ton of anxiety over it too. He can't answer me "why" yet, when I ask him why he doesn't want to go and play with other children.I don't currently have close friends that have small children that he can play with, so we are kind of isolated. Any helpful advice or suggestions would be extremely helpful. I don't want to have to start therapy at such a young age, and finances are really tight right now, but I am willing to do whatever is necessary to help him get over this phase in his life. Thank You.
Will he go on walks with you, where you might see people but you just walk by them? What about going to the park and just sitting at a distance without him having to interact with other kids? Will he go to the library not during story time, like just to pick out books?
All I can think of is to keep putting him in situations where he would see kids but not HAVE to interact with him and maybe that would help desensitize him? Has he always been like this or is this a more recent development?
That is a tough one. I think I would talk to your Pediatrician about it. There are programs out there that can provide evaluations and therapy and little to no cost. I'm not sure if 3 is too old for Early Intervention, but I'm sure there is probably some other program out there like that and your child's doctor would know who to call.
Have you researched the preschool that you would like to use? Maybe if you did they could give you a list of other parents and you could try to meet up with another family and give your son a play date to test the waters with one child, and maybe in your own home where he is more comfortable. The preschool may also have evaluations every so often that you could participate in.
Yes, he will go on walks with me, to the stores and the library as well. He is perfectly fine around adults but he tenses up and gets anxious when he sees another child. He just turned 3 last month and he has not always been this way, it is a fairly recent development. When he was between 1 and 2 yrs old I would take him for story time at the library and he seemed to get along fine wih the other babies. We stopped going for a while due to health issues and then I got into a regular routine of concentrating on his learning development and starting potty training. He seemed to start getting nervous around other children when he was about 2 and a half years old while we were at the park. He was very anxious that another child was going to take his toy and even though I tried to reassure him that everything was ok and the other child didn't want his toy he became even more anxious and cried that he wanted to go home. When we went back home I tried to ease his fears and comfort him but it seemed like anytime after that whenever he saw another child he would just get anxious again. Thank you so much for your response and your advice.
Thank you for the advice, I will talk to my pediatrician about this at his three year check up coming up soon. I do have a pre-school in mind that I definitely want to enter him into as it has aan excellent reputation in my community. I like your suggestion about getting a list of other children that attend there, but I hope that they will be willing to give me that information since he is not enrolled as of yet. I just don't want him to be too anxious about going, and I don't want my own nervousness about it to affect him either.
Again, thank you so much for your helpful advice, I'm hoping hat this is just another "phase" because I'm concerned about it becoming an ongoing issue.
I think you have a great plan, and I would still definitely talk to the preschool. Maybe you can pre-enroll him to show your level of commitment. I am certain that they will want to work with you to get him ready to go there, otherwise they will have to deal with it when he actually starts. I know at our preschool the Director is phenomenal and has a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education and I am always asking his advice on things and he is so good with the kids. I of course don't know the people who work at your school, but hopefully they have decent credentials and if they do they know how to handle this stuff and will have other suggestions for you to get him prepared.