My son hides his anxiety
by Ericka Morgan
(Colonial Beach, VA)
Hi, my son is seven years old and a struggling second grader. He is failing in all subjects but does not get any special education services. The school denied his eligibility, despite his SPD and ADHD diagnosis. I have been telling the teachers, principals, and other experts about my son's anxiety for a long time. The problem is, they don't believe me. They always reply, we don't see the signs of anxiety at school.
Just tonight, they had some sort of infomercial on black history month. Lexi came running into the kitchen where I was fixing dinner. I said what is it? He said, Mommmy, they're talking about Martin Luther King. I don't like that! They showed it at my school and I can't watch that..."
I always take the calm approach, I ask him to try to explain what upsets him. This is tricky because my son does not want to say things like this, and he will do his best not to-there is no problem with his speech, he just doesn't want to say things that are hard.
But I got him to tell me that he was upset when the black people and the white people were mean to each other. I asked about the video they watched at school on MLK Day and he said it really upset him. Of course, he's telling me this weeks after the fact! I said, "But honey, why didn't you tell me? Why didn't you tell your teacher? You didn't have to watch it if it upset you!" He said,"Mommy, all the second graders watched it, not just my class." He thought that since all the kids in his grade watched it he had to watch it.
Does anyone else have kids who hide their feelings like this? I am learning that anxiety is a common problem with SPD. But my son is adamant that he doesn't want ANYONE else to know. He says he will only tell me... does anyone have suggestions?