Child's social anxiety should be expressedSOCIAL ANXIETY...

Family forum

January 21, 1992|By Mary Maushard

Child's social anxiety should be expressed

SOCIAL ANXIETY is normal among children, and young people who deny feeling queasy at a school dance or shy at a family gathering are probably heading for more trouble than their peers who feel -- and acknowledge -- some anxiety. "Subjects who denied social difficulties portrayed themselves as more comfortable around others and happy with interpersonal contact. But they also exhibited a higher level of psychological problems," says Lee Keyes, a psychologist who studied more than 900 youths ages 8 to 19. In his study at Texas A & M University, Mr. Keyes found no relation between age or sex and social anxiety. Those who reported being at ease socially also indicated they had more stress, depression and general anxiety, says Mr. Keyes.

Disabilities and computers

Children with disabilities can take a look at how computers can help them learn and live better at a free hands-on workshop Saturday. Learning Independence Through Computers Inc., a non-profit organization that helps people with disabilities adapt computers to their needs, is offering its first workshop for young people age 5 to 18 and their families. The workshop will let interested people try out specialized hardware, such as voice programs for those who are blind, enlarged screens for those with low vision and touch-sensitive keyboards for those with impaired fine-motor skills. The workshop, a part of Project KIDS-LINC, will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon at LINC headquarters, 28 E. Ostend St. It will be repeated at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 8 and 1 p.m. Feb. 9.

Home computers

Computers are all in the family. In fact, by the end of the decade, they might outnumber the kids. A new survey estimates that the average American household will have be 2.2 personal computers by 1999. Also by that time, notebook computers will be as common in schools as pocket calculators are today, says the survey conducted for electronics and computer companies by Channel Marketing Corp., a sales marketing and consulting firm.

Birth techniques

Birthing techniques have run the gamut in recent years from soothing silence to music to underwater activity. But are any particularly beneficial to newborns? Warren Crosby, an obstetrician-gynecologist from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, says none has proved to be particularly beneficial, but none is harmful. Dr. Crosby does say you shouldn't lose sight of the goal -- the birth of a child -- by being preoccupied with trivia.

Worth noting

The Montessori society of Central Maryland is offering a free seminar in the developmental stages of children from birth to six years. "The Special Years" is a free, introductory session from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 9. Follow-up workshops will be offered for a fee. For more information, phone the school at 410-321-8555.

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