my daughter is scared of other kids

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2008
my daughter is scared of other kids
5
Wed, 03-26-2008 - 11:48pm

seeing as my daughter also has high anxiety along with her spd, how can i help her around other children, if shes terrified to get close to them?? today was her birthday and we took her to a place she loves to go, its this huge gym with gymnastic trampolenes, foam pits, bounce houses etc. anywho as a sensory seeker this place has always made her so happy but today it was awfully crowed and the second a child got anywhere near her she freaked out signing and saying "all done" over and over. i know its best to continue to expose her to these situations but i have no clue how to make it better for her. i cant imagin what the others must think when my 3 yr old is terrified of their toddeling 1 yr old!


anyone whos been in this boat id love to hear any suggestions u may have??


thanks


Amy H.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2006
Thu, 03-27-2008 - 8:19am
She probably went into sensory overload. I'm assuming since it was mre crowded there was a lot more noise and action which is probably what she was scared of and kind of just made her not want to interact. David was quite anti-social and in a way still is but he did learn to play around 4. HTH
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2008
Fri, 03-28-2008 - 5:56pm
I'm so sorry you're going through that. My three year old son is just getting better. He was terrified of kids. Crying, wanting to be held...it was awful. It took a lot of exposure, patience and enrolling in a parent participation pre-school (I go with him) for him to get better. He still does not interact much and keeps somewhat of a distance but at least he is not screaming and wanting to literally run the other way. Hang in there and don't isolate yourself...
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2008
Sun, 03-30-2008 - 3:26pm

well today there was no sensory overload what so ever to cause her to panic, we were at barnes & noble book store in the childrens section she was happily playing at the train table , after a few mins another little girl walked over and the second she reached the table rylee ran into my arms! im so so sad for her, that shes so scared of a little girl. blah i need to find some help!


thanks all for listening!


Amy H


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-15-2003
Fri, 04-25-2008 - 1:09am

Hi there,
I'm responding really late on this I see, but still wanted to respond!

I have a 14 month old with SID. For a long time, she was also terrified of other kids, especially babies and toddlers. We've been going to Gymboree class since she was 5 months old, but she would just freeze up if another baby came up to her, and wouldn't/couldn't respond. It was really bad because one girl her age always liked to come over and smack her, and poor Zoe didn't know how to respond. She just froze.

I talked about this with her OT. She said it's because Zoe (and some other kids with SID) are hypervigilant and can't handle unpredictable situations or people, because they don't know what to expect. And think about it....who is more unpredictable than a baby or toddler?? They do all kinds of crazy things. So our kids just freeze up with anxiety because they don't know what to expect, and they don't know how to respond. And this is also why they may do better with adults, especially relatives, because we ARE more predictable. I thought this made so much sense!

So, then I asked her what I can do to help Zoe. I had also thought it would be better to just continue to expose her to this as much as possible. But her OT said that wasn't really the right way to go about it. She suggested just doing one-on-one playdates for a while. So I talked with another mom there about it and we had a couple playdates. This way, Zoe was able to just focus on one other little person instead of several, and it was also in her own home so she was comfortable with the environment.

The other key is to help her understand how to react to other kids. Say things like, "Here's another little girl playing. Let's say hi to her!" Or "here comes a baby toward us. Let's hand her a ball to play with." Or in the case of Zoe where she was being smacked by the other girl, "Zoe, tell her 'stop'". We just have to tell them what to expect and how to deal with it. So maybe even telling her on the way there what to expect and that there will be other kids there and what they might be doing.

I can say now that Zoe is MUCH much better in this department....I almost cried when I saw her even try to hand a ball to another little one at Gymboree!! She no longer seems scared of them. So I can attest that using these techniques really help.

GL!
nicole

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-17-2003
Mon, 04-28-2008 - 3:59am
I understand. MY Daughter Hanna who just turned 6 is this way too. Forget about being in a room full of kids. She goes nuts. She is finally learning to play one on one at the park with another little girl if she is around her age or older. She too has Panic attacks and anxiety. It is like walking on egg shells, but we are learning over time how to handle the situations and she is starting to learn to tell me when something is wrong and she feels uncomfortable so I can stop the panic attack before it becomes fullblown. I am on high alert all the time unless we are home alone which we do most of the time. Hang in there. It does get a better over time. Just takes lots of patience and learning what works for your child. Trish :)