How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Selah R, M.S. LPC Your Own Question

Selah R, M.S. LPC
Selah R, M.S. LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 582
Experience:  Licensed Professional Counselor; over 13+ yrs exp working with adults, teens, & families/couples.
3241695
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Selah R, M.S. LPC is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My son is 5 years, 8 mos. He is a good kid. He is loving and

Resolved Question:

My son is 5 years, 8 mos. He is a good kid. He is loving and very sensitive. He generally listens to adults, follows rules, etc. He treats younger children and pets nicely. But he has a problem. He always thinks other children are "out to get him." He reports being bullied. We've observed him in school, camp, etc, and neither us nor teachers have ever witnessed any bullying. In fact, we see kids act NICELY towards him. A few times we have observed a child being kind to him (complimenting him, asking him to play with them, etc) and then taken him aside and asked what the other child was feeling/intending. Petey always believes the other child is "tricking" him- secretly plotting to harm him. Petey always reports feeling sad and angered because he wants the other children to "be nice", and yet, when they are, he still believes they mean him harm. Meanwhile, if you show Petey a magazine picture, he can tell the emotions of the people correctly. If you watch tv and pause in the middle of the scene, he can say what each person is feeling and why and how they will probably react, all correctly. So it's not that he can't read how others feel or social cues, he just chronically misinterprets them when he is involved. He always misinterprets the same way- others mean him harm. We are not "stranger danger" parents. We are not "helicopter" parents. We encourage Petey to use his words and "check it out"- i.e. ask the other child how they feel if he is uncertain. And yet, he still insists they mean him harm. Meanwhile, he rarely reacts to his younger sister that way, and only occasionally sees adults as malevolent. Petey has never been actually bullied that we know of. Other children seem to like him. He just doesn't recognize that he is liked, no matter what. What's going on with our kid? We have taken him to a neurologist because of sleep issues, and he has a rare sleep disorder- REM behavior disorder, but that shouldn't be a problem psychiatrically. He isn't anxious in general and has no phobias. He also is a happy kid. Happy until another child wants to play, that is. What should we do?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Selah R, M.S. LPC replied 4 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Thank you for trusting JustAnswer with your important question.

Customer:

Hello

Customer:

My name is XXXXX XXXXX son is Petey, his sister is Isabel, and his dad is Pete.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

It sounds like a skilled child therapist is needed to help evaluate your son. You've been clever in testing his ability to read body language and other social cues when he's not in the moment.

Customer:

Also, I should mention we NEVER use physical punishment and NEVER tell him he is a "bad kid". If we need to discuss his bx, we are clear to say we don't like what he is doing in the moment.

Customer:

I'm an adult therapist myself

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

It could be that he is shy, which is causing anxiety or stress, that is overwhelming his current coping skills. When that happens, it's easy for the brain to get overwhelmed and start looking for danger, even when none exists.

Customer:

but child psych isn't my thing. plus, he's my kid, so I have zero objectivity.

Customer:

True.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Then you know a lot about parenting and adult psych stuff. The problem is kids don't have all the tools we have as adults... especially emotional regulation.

Customer:

However, he gets along with girls. That's his personal "stratgey". He hangs out with the girls, who he says are "nice" and he understands. It's just boys his age or older that he feels mean badly towards him.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Any chance the REM disorder is putting him at a higher risk of functioning on a stressed-out level (lack of adequate, restful sleep, increased sensitivity to stress; hyperarousal, etc)?

Customer:

Yeah....i tried to kid-ify DBT for him. He likes mindfulness, and kind of gets that there could be different ways to see things, except of course, if it's about him personally.

Customer:

possibly. until he got the correct diagnosis and medication, he actually had some psychotic-like episodes at night. Until he was 2 and 1/2, he never slept for more than 2-3 hrs at a time.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

DBT is hard this young, because emotional multi-tasking isn't really in their skillset yet. But it's good that you've started that technique with him.

Customer:

we only got the final correct diagnosis a few months ago, and finally the correct medication.

Customer:

he takes klonopin and melatonin at night. not to happy with klonopin at age 5, but it keeps his body relaxed during sleep so he won't flail and hurt himself.

Customer:

yeah, dbt isn't kid-friendly. but i think mindfulness, just body awareness is good. and starting a foundation of being aware of the connection b/t emotions and how we react.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Good. But that means his body is probably running on a deficit and more stress-based than we'd expect in a normal child. I don't hear anything that makes me worry that he has a clinical diagnosis at this point (Aspergers, ODD, CD, RAD, etc).

Customer:

we have multiple autistic family members on both sides. he is definitely NOT autistic.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

He might benefit from play therapy (to get at non-verbal stuff, and indirect, which is less emotionally threatening). He may also benefit from learning HRV Biofeedback to help with emotional regulation but also help restore the body's stress versus relaxation system functioning.

Customer:

i'm more worried b/c my mother, uncle, and brother have problems with paranoia. Mom & uncle are schizophrenic/affective and my brother is just chronically paranoid globally about others.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

It's really your call. If you think the social issues with boys is causing enough problems, it's probably wise to call in a child therapist. If it's something that concerns you, but he seems pretty well adjusted in other areas of his life, it might be a "wait and see if he outgrows it as his social and emotional skills grow"

Customer:

i am not doing the clinical diagnosing there, btw. those are long-term, well known problems diagnosed by others years ago,

Customer:

it's weird because otherwise he's totally sweet and adjusted. Younger or smaller boys are OK.

Customer:

it's just older or larger boys that are "out to get him."

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Well, and in his age, we'd expect to see some natural paranoia/self-centered/irrational thinking. Their world is small, and they are usually the center of the drama, so they usually interpret clues as being ABOUT them instead of NEAR them.

Customer:

my husband believes he is just sensitive and boys tend to be rough /physical and loud, and that he is overwhelmed by that, and hence smaller boys and girls are easier.

Customer:

true.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

We also tend to see more social problems with peers in kids who are intellectually gifted.

Customer:

he is very bright- 3rd grade math/reading level by testing

Customer:

but physical motor skills are 2 years behind chronological age, despite being a very tall kid, according to neuro.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

And right now, that probably is the case. Again, going back to the stress mind at work (think PTSD clients), he's going to be more suspicious and on alert for danger, and older, rougher, bigger boys are going to set off alarms.

Customer:

you have a point.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

He just doesn't have the emotional skills to be rational about that at the time he's feeling the danger or "they hate me" emotions

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

That's probably still two to three years away

Customer:

i think we'll just keep coaching him, observing, and ask camp to let us know if he acts troubled or they see him struggle. so far counselors and teachers report he is well-liked by peers, even when he believes he is not

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

So right now, work on keeping him as social as he's comfortable, keep working with mindfulness, maybe add in breathing and relaxation skills, but also give his body time to catch up from the sleep deprivation.

Customer:

ok, thanks

Customer:

have a good night

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

You too!

Selah R, M.S. LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 582
Experience: Licensed Professional Counselor; over 13+ yrs exp working with adults, teens, & families/couples.
Selah R, M.S. LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Mental Health Professional
Selah R, M.S. LPC
Selah R, M.S. LPC
Mental Health Professional
582 Satisfied Customers
Licensed Professional Counselor; over 13+ yrs exp working with adults, teens, & families/couples.