I am a grandmother of a teen struggling with SM. No close friends other than her siblings and no interaction at school.
How do I know if medication is or isn’t the best answer for them?
“In addition to the school, we want to create opportunities within the community, perhaps having her sibling or siblings join in areas of interest. Remember, comfort precedes communication and progress doesn’t happen in a group. With areas of interest perhaps the individual will connect with others.
A key aspect here is skill building. A lot of teens can speak. They may not be initiative elaborative, conversational. They lack conversation starters, expanders, et cetera. And that stems from years of not doing this. So these are areas that need to be worked on in therapy. Too often we think use medication and all of a sudden anxiety is lowered and the child, or in this case, the team will just begin to speak.
What I’ve learned over the course of my career is skill building is critical because they lack the skills often because of the years of not doing it. So although they’re comfortable at home and may have skills, it’s out and about within the community, within the school, connecting with others has actually been lost in a lot of ways to the level that really affects them socially, emotionally, and perhaps reaching their academic potential.
So, is medication the quick fix here? Absolutely not. Could it be an adjunct in the treatment of this teen? Absolutely. But I would not wanna make that recommendation without knowing this teen and working closely with the family, and particularly the teen, to help build the coping skills, learn the strategies, and begin navigating the social communication world in a confident way where we’re not pushing, but we’re working closely with the team through goal-setting and step-by-step.” – Dr. E