My son has not spoken in school this year. We invited a classmate from school to our house. He still did not talk with him. He talks with us and relatives. He does not talk to us when he knows people are listening to him. He said that he is embarrassed. He is a very happy boy yet… We now have him being assessed. How can we build up his self esteem, confidence and lessen his anxiety?
You have asked the million dollar question! Every child is different and there are many different ways to build self-esteem, increase confidence and lessen anxiety. There are multiple tactics to try and use and needs to be based on your child and their current anxiety level and individuality. The way to build self-esteem is to help promote your child’s positive attributes. One example is to promote your child’s interest in sports, art, music, etc., whatever it might be. Help your child be the best he can be in as many areas as possible!
With increasing confidence comes lowered anxiety! Building social confidence takes time and trying a variety of different tactics, such as starting with small groups and introducing one child at a time and allowing your child to GUIDE the way, not anyone else. Helping your child do this will take some strategic planning and patience on our part.
Lowering anxiety is accomplished by either behavioral therapy alone or in combination with medication. However, never use medication without adjunctive therapy.
A trained professional who UNDERSTANDS SM should develop an individualized plan for your child that can be used at home, in social situations and within the school environment.