Childhood Social Anxiety Disorder 

When a child has social anxiety they are often afraid that people may say things about them, they get embarrassed by something possibly happening or that they may not act appropriately, they are afraid that they may say the wrong thing to other children, and they also don't like to bring attention to themselves. 

A child with social anxiety can feel uncomfortable talking to other kids in their class, public speaking/speaking in front of their peers, going to birthday parties, attending activities, eating in public, going to school or talking on the phone. 

Childhood social anxiety disorder or social phobia, is a mental health condition that affects children and adolescents. It is when a child has extreme fears and anxiety in social situations. Children with social anxiety may struggle in everyday social interactions like making friends or participating in activities. 

Social anxiety disorder is a type of anxiety disorder is triggered by social situations and it affects approximately 6.8% of children and adolescents in the United States. 

Children with social anxiety disorder experience intense fear in social situations when they feel they could possibly be judged by others. They may avoid social situations or they may attend social events but struggle with a lot of anxiety and stress. 

Childhood social anxiety disorder is a treatable. Early diagnosis and treatment can greatly improve a child's symptoms. The most effective treatment for childhood social anxiety disorder is a combination of therapy and medication.

Social Anxiety
- intense anxiety in social situations
- fear of being judged by others
- avoiding social situations
- feeling sad or angry in social settings
- worries about being embarrassed around other people
- throwing tantrums before social events
- asking questions for reassurance about situations
- fear of meeting new people
- exaggerated fears about social situations
- fears reading out loud in class
- freezing up around others
- difficulty ordering food at restaurants
- avoids eye contact around others
- refuses to go to school
- difficulty making friends
- refuses to speak in some situations
- extreme self-consciousness in social settings
- speaks softly around others
- sweating, nausea or blushing around others
- clinging to parents at social events

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a common therapy used for social anxiety disorders for children. It focuses on changing negative thoughts or some behaviors that contribute to their social anxiety. With therapy children can learn different coping skills to manage their anxiety in social situations. 

For some children their symptoms may get better and improve as they get older but for some others they could continue to struggle with social anxiety as an adult too. It is important to seek early medical attention if your child is struggling with social anxiety. 

DISCLAIMER: I am not an Occupational Therapist. I am an adult who has Sensory Processing Disorder, a sensory parent and a Grandma. The information on this website is not medical advice and does not replace the information that your child's therapists gives you. These are just ideas and information that I have learned myself over the years of being a parent and an adult living with SPD. If you are concerned for your child, please always seek medical attention through a family doctor, pediatrician or therapist. This website is for suggestions and informational purposes only. Each child is different and what works for one child may not for another because all children have different needs. Please always consult with a professional.

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