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Social anxiety

Many of Eli’s behaviors are foreign to me, but there is one in particular that him and I have in common- social anxiety. Since starting ABA therapy, social interaction was one of the main areas of improvement. In this past year he has improved tremendously. He now calls everyone by their names, looks at those who are speaking, interacts well with others. Of course he doesn’t hit those on the head every single time- I’m sure no child is perfect with those at this age. But Eli has done amazing. The other day we went to a friends birthday party. Eli was asking about it for weeks because he was so excited. The whole drive to the party he wouldn’t stop talking about it, until we got to the party. He refused to go inside. There were between maybe 20-30 people inside (children and adults) and he sat in the hallway and wouldn’t go in. We had to bribe him with balloons. Once inside he didn’t want to participate in any games with the kids (except for the pinata) and chose to spend most of the party in the corner playing with balloons by himself. He loosened up a bit at the end but still mostly kept to himself. 
At first I thought- wow we need to start working on this when we get ABA back up and running to get him out of his shell. But then I thought to myself, what would I do if I walked up to a party where I only knew 1 person? I’m not an extrovert. I don’t enjoy conversations or games with people I don’t know. First day of class when you have to introduce yourself to the class would make me cringe through my skin. I tend to stick to myself. Not all of Elis insecurities may be related to his diagnosis, I’m sure a lot of them get passed down from his father and me. Not every issue with Eli is something we need to address in therapy. Each kid is built their own way and we shouldn’t try to change everything about them.  
Of course it would be great if Eli was able to be more outgoing and go with the flow. I know a lot of kids that are. It would be great if instead of seeing 20 strangers he just sees his one friend and a bunch of other kids having a great time and him wanting to join in. I’m hoping once he’s back in school he will become more outgoing. We may get there someday. But for now I’m fine with my shy boy who plays with balloons.