Reply To: Concern for my 14 year old son and his isolation

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#52118
Wendy Lichtig
Participant

I have a hard time teasing out shyness, from social anxiety, from introversion. I feel like some of the comments are equating these things. My understanding is that introverts don’t want to be around others, shy people do but don’t know how, and people with social anxiety are shy to what is considered a pathological level. My son cannot initiate conversation and whether he can participate in the conversation, once started, depends on the conversation abilities of the person he’s talking to. He doesn’t talk to anyone outside of school, but calls a couple kids in school his friends and nobody, thank God, is mean to him. He sits with other kids at lunch and will speak if spoken to but, otherwise will sit doing origami or reading a book instead of participating in the conversation at the table. Like your son, he won’t go to therapy. I know he would like to have a more vibrant social life outside of school. I’m just wondering how to try to get out of him how he feels about what i perceive is his isolation. If it doesn’t bother him, fine, then i guess he’s an introvert. But i think it does and that, perhaps, learning about what social anxiety is might help. That said, I’m hoping that my suggesting he read information about it won’t come off as a criticism on my part that there is something wrong with him.