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When Is It Time to Seek Professional Help for My Child?

Is it time to seek professional help for your child’s social skill issues?

Parenting isn’t easy. Being responsible for the care and upbringing of another person can be overwhelming at times. Are you making the right decisions? Do you think it is time to seek professional help for your child? Is your child growing into a well-adjusted adult? Is your child happy? Does he or she have friends? Does he or she socialize appropriately?

Almost every parent wants their child to be happy and have friends they can grow up with and rely on. For some children, forming these types of relationships happen naturally and easy, but for others it can be a challenge. Often, the children who find it most difficult to get along with other children, connect with others, and make friends are struggling with social skill deficits. For these children, professional help may be the right answer.

Does My Child Need Professional Help?

Just like adults, some children are introverts. They simply prefer their own company and don’t particularly need a ton of social interaction outside of school. For example, they may prefer to stay at home finishing up a book rather than go to a casual friend’s birthday party. If this is their preference and they seem content, they probably don’t need professional help, though you may want to encourage them to engage in more social activities.

If spending time on his or her own is not your child’s preference, this may indicate he or she would benefit from professional help. For instance, if it’s painfully obvious that your child wants to interact, but often things don’t go well when he or she attempts to, there is likely an underlying problem. Perhaps they struggle to engage in conversation, behave in a way that turns other children off, or just seem to be out of sync with their peers. In these cases, your child is likely struggling with their social skills.

Behaviors That May Require Professional Interventions

If you’re not certain your child really needs professional help for his or her social skills issues, answer the following questions. While it can be difficult to acknowledge that your child is struggling, it’s crucial that you answer the following questions truthfully.

  • Does your child have trouble understanding and interpreting body language and/ or facial expressions?
  • Do you notice he or she is often rejected by others, but doesn’t appear to realize or care about the rejection?
  • Ask yourself, does he or she have difficulty listening and often miss the point of what is being said?
  • Have you considered, does he or she almost always appear socially awkward or as having little to no interest in social interactions?
  • Does he or she often violate social “rules” and norms, such as interrupting others while in mid-sentence, not waiting his or her turn, or constantly talk, especially over others?
  • Does he or she have the tendency to share information inappropriately and/ or say inappropriate things?
  • Is he or she unable to recognize signs that the people around them are annoyed?
  • Is he or she prone to taking metaphorical statements, such as “I’m so mad, I could hurt somebody.” literally?
  • This may happen…does another person’s use of sarcasm appear to confuse him or her?
  • Does he or she have difficulty greeting people appropriately and/ or getting someone’s attention or requesting information?
  • Does he or she withdraw from conversations with other kids and/ or adults?

When Professional Help is the Answer

It’s easy to just assume (or hope) that your child will eventually outgrow their weak social skills. However, that’s rarely, if ever, the case. For a child to work through any social skills deficits properly and successfully, professional help is often the best answer. The Social Skills Center creates an environment that is both nurturing and supportive. There he or she will work on developing the social skills they need to excel in life.

We provide this assistance either in-person or through an online coaching program. Both individual and group formats are used to give them the greatest opportunity at success. Just like being a parent isn’t easy, neither is being a child, particularly if you are one who constantly struggles to interact and fit in with your peers. If this is your child, it’s time to get him or her the professional social skills help they need to thrive in life.

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