"Our painfully shy 13-year-old doesn't have any friends. How can we help him break the ice with his classmates?"
by Carol Brady, Ph.D.
Shyness is often misread as a lack of interest, and it may be that other children aren't so much rejecting your son as feeling rejected themselves.
Ask one of your son's teachers if she's noticed any good matches in her class for your son. Odds are, hooking him up with other kids who have a shared interest in an after-school club or volunteer activity (a teen hotline, Habitat for Humanity, and so on) will work. If not, look into a social-skills group run by the school or a community center. If none is available, a teen or college student could act as a mentor.
If you feel that your son's isolation is evidence of clinical depression, consult a psychiatrist.