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DrPsychologist
DrPsychologist, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 142
Experience:  I have worked as a psychologist for over 10 years and have experience in family therapy.
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Why cant my son be alone and play by himself alone

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Why can't my son be alone and play by himself alone? He is 6.5 year old. When I work in my home office upstairs, he would come upstairs every few minutes constantly, and found all kinds of questions to ask, such as: "I don't want to do. What should I do? What is this? What does it mean?" I told him there were lots of toys and books downstairs and he could use any of those. He went away and came back with the same or other questions. Even he grabbed a toy, he would rather play in my office upstairs or hanging out in the hall way near the door of my room. This happens during the day time (just to exclude out the reason that he may feel scared at night time being alone). When he is with somebody else (such as his younger brother) in the same room downstairs, he seems feeling better and he could do something by himself independently or interact with others. He has been like this since he was toddler and he was not left alone very often - one reason obviously is he always tries to stick to other people. What is he lacking inside and how to teach/train him to find his own fun alone and/or face himself alone?


DrPsychologist :

Your son's behavior is absolutely normal. He sounds like a sociable child who enjoys interacting with others. He is 6 not 16. If you need to work for long spans of time while he is home then perhaps you might consider hiring a babysitter of having him attend daycare.

Customer:

He may be sociable inside like you said, but, he does not seem sociable seen from outside. He often avoids conversations with his teacher and his classmates that he is with everyday in school. Why?

DrPsychologist :

some kids are more shy than others but still seek interaction. perhaps he has felt rejected by you and fears similar rejection by his teacher and peers. i would recommend family therapy.

Customer:

When others, the people he knows and is with everyday, like teachers and friends in his classroom, try to talk to him, he would often not answer, not response, or walk away.

DrPsychologist :

it sounds like it may be time to take him to a skilled child psychologist. have you asked him why he does that

DrPsychologist :

this may be normal behavior or it may be a d/o on the autism spectrum (aspergers, for example) or social anxiety

Customer:

For instance, he didn't feel well the day before and in the morning, a kid walked up to him and ask, "Do you feel better?". He would walk away.

Customer:

Another example, one day, he was not feel good, and we need to talk the teach he would take one day off. I asked him to tell the teach about it. He walked up to the teach, and say, "(without saying Miss ___ first) I don't feed good and I will stay home. " Right after he finished, the turn around and walked away without waiting for teacher's response. The teach responded, "I am sorry. I hope you feel better soon." But he kept walking away while the teacher was talking back to him.

Customer:

So, I'm confused, he wants be with people when left alone, at the same time, he does not interactive with people when others (non-strangers) trying to interact with him.

Customer:

Back to the very first scenario, I don't mean he came up to find me when he was left for very long spans of time. It only took a few minutes after he was alone. For instance, I started a very interested activity with him and told him to finish it (he did that activity before, it is not that he is not capable of finishing the activity) and also told him I would work upstairs and he would finish this by himself. A few minutes later, he came up to find me and gave me all kinds of reasons.

DrPsychologist :

i understand your concern...thank you for clarifying. it does sound like he has difficulty with social cues and that it would be best to take him to a child psychologist who may recommend a neuropsychological eval. if you need referrals then please let me know what the closest major city is to you and i will get them to you shortly.

Customer:

Another clarification is he can work by himself on a project as long as there is somebody else in the same room with him (and this "somebody" could do other things - not necessarily working with him or do the same thing as he is doing) .

Customer:

What is the general practice/ recommended daily interaction/activities with children who have difficulty with social cues?

DrPsychologist :

assessment can help to provide information about and recommendations for treatment. It is difficult to know where the breakdown happens and provide directives with just a short conversation like ours so my apologies, but I would rather direct you towards appropriate assessment than provide information that is inaccurate to your son's specific needs. It is also hard to say if this is a factor of neurological and psychological factors, and if I provide you with recommendations and you do not seek an eval for your son then you could be missing what is truly wrong. please let e know what the closest city is to you and I would be happy to provide you with referrals. You may be able to have him tested at school at no cost but the wait time for accommodations may be much longer in such an instance.

Customer:

Can you send some recommendations near Boston MA? Thanks :)

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