Social difficulties in children
Does your child struggle to fit in with other kids? Are they are too shy, too controlling, too aggressive or too awkward? Perhaps they prefer the company of younger children? Or maybe there is simply no interest in social interaction at all?
Social success requires people to understand the nuances of verbal and body language, facial expressions, empathy, as well as social cues, rules and conventions. Navigating the social world is extraordinarily complex! No wonder kids (and adults) get it wrong at times.
Many kids will stumble in their early attempts to build connections with others and develop their own social identity. Some children pick up these skills quickly, others need a little more time and support.
Social difficulties are common in children and don’t always lead to a medical or psychological diagnosis. However, if you’re concerned about your child you should talk to one of our experts today.
Signs and symptoms of social problems:
- Difficulty making or keeping friends
- Doesn’t show interest in being with others
- Lacks empathy or seems selfish
- Interrupts others or takes over conversations
- Unusual body language or eye contact
- Bullies or manipulates others
What causes social problems in children?
The way children interact with others is affected by emotional, behavioural, cognitive, physical and language development. Personality traits and environmental factors also influence social performance (eg. family stress, parenting style, role models, political and religious context and culture).
Research indicates a clear connection between certain psychological disorders and social health. ADHD and autism are well-known complications, however, anxiety and depression, as well as language, perceptual and intellectual deficits may contribute to poor social outcomes too.
So, there are a lot of potential causes. Identifying (and ruling out) these causes is important when planning intervention strategies. Without this crucial information, attempts to support your child may be ineffective and possibly even make the situation worse.
Assessment of social problems
A clinical assessment of child social problems typically requires a combination of parent and teacher interviews, questionnaires, child testing and observation. In order to accurately identify the cause of your child's social concerns, your psychologist must first rule out alternative factors. This takes time and skill.
Having your child assessed is a crucial first-step towards creating a better life for your loved one. If you are struggling to support your child's social skills, get in touch today for professional advice.
Which disorders affect social skills?
Learn more about childhood disorders: