identify students with social anxiety by the symptoms they illustrate at home and at school. Raising the issue that SAD can affect children’s lives in a variety of ways, the kind of support that they need is mentioned here.
There are several risk factors that lead to SAD. Some researchers believe that SAD is associated with genetic factors (Stein et al., 2017; Domschke, 2013); other researchers connect SAD to childhood experience (Belli et al., 2017; Brühl et al., 2019). Identifying the reason/reasons for children’s social anxiety is so important in determining the most effective strategy and intervention to support them.
Base on my own childhood experience and the study of research (Knappe et al., 2010; Oosterhoff, 2016), home environment and parental behavior play important roles in children’s SAD. Thus, support for children with SAD can be provided by training and educating parents, and by implementing interventions for supporting children both at home and at school to help children with SAD increase their self-determination and cope with their SAD.
As all students with or without disabilities have the right to learn in regular classrooms, we as teachers should be aware of inclusion in education and try to implement proper inclusion in our classrooms in order to support all diverse students. Inclusion is a process to address and respond to the individual’s various needs, through the support of increasing participation in learning, cultures, and communities, and reducing exclusion from education (Stadler-Heer, 2019). Within the inclusive classroom, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a framework of principles for curriculum development that seeks to provide all students with an opportunity to learn, is commonly cited as an educational approach that facilitates inclusive settings (Viteli, 2015).
UDL is an effective model to increase students’ self-efficacy. Students must be monitored, assessed, identified, and diagnosed so that the most appropriate Individual Education Plan (IEP) can be implemented for them. Through the process of identification, we need to recognize the main reason which causes difficulties for students’ learning and development process. One of the most important factors that might affect students’ learning abilities is the family environment.
According to Ginsburg (1988), fear of negative evaluation, social avoidance, and distress with peers are conceptually meaningful for children with social anxiety disorders. Also, children with a high level of social anxiety have challenges in social functioning, and girls are reported to have higher social anxiety than boys. Socially anxious children are more likely to have parents with SAD, depression, or alcohol use. Also, unfavorable parenting styles, such as overprotection, rejection, and lack of emotional warmth affect children’s social anxiety. In addition, family environment factors such as dysfunctional parent rearing or disturbed family functioning are probably specific risk factors for the onset and course of SAD symptoms (Knappe et al., 2010).
How to recognize Social Anxiety
Being invited to a birthday party is one of the most beautiful experiences for the youth. How do you feel when you are invited to a party full of people of the same age and delicious foods and colorful dresses? Most people get excited. Before going to the party, they are curious to know who else is invited and how can I dress up the best in order to impress others especially those who are going to meet for the first time. But, this is a different situation for people with social anxiety.
A person with social anxiety has a fear of going to a party. Before going to the party She/he would think, what kind of people are going to be there? What if they judge my clothes, attitude, behaviour. Can I really have fun with them? What if they make fun of me? What if they ask me a question that I don’t know the answer to and they think I am stupid? After having all those questions and fears in his/her mind finally, he/she changes his/her mind and avoid going to that party.
The parent-child relationship may be a primarily important context for the development, and health of children. Parents need to observe their children continuously in order to get sure of their children’s mental and physical health. Generally, we can divide the symptoms into social-emotional and physical:A child with social anxiety usually has an excessive fear of being judged and feels embarrassed most of the time. They avoid not only social situation but also interacting and talking to strangers
. They also try to hide their feelings and they don’t want you to notice their anxiety, shaky voice, and red cheeks. They cover themselves behind their parents, siblings, or close friends to escape from being at the central attention in public or gathering situations. After ending a social situation, such as a social gathering or meeting, they analyze their speech and behaviour to figure out if there is possibility of being judged by others and they always except something negative to happen.
children with social anxiety usually have some physical symptoms in common such as fast heartbeat, difficulty in breathing, muscle tension, shaking, sweating, and sometimes they experience upset stomach, nausea, and dizziness. These symptoms can be related to other diseases but when they are mixed with social emotional symptoms we can assure that they are social anxiety symptoms.
Teachers can identify children with social anxiety by observing the children and noticing the symptoms they have at school. according to Masia et al. (2018), children with social anxiety have social discomfort and avoidance and it often contributes to limited friendship and restricted school involvement such as school clubs and school sports teams. They also have difficulty in doing class requirements such as presentation and group work. They may experience bullying at school so they usually avoid interaction with their peers. All these symptoms lead to feelings of loneliness, low self-esteem, and negative self-worth.