But within weeks, Natasha says, everything changed.‘Yasin started coming home upset and withdrawn,’ she recalls.
‘I put on a brave face for him and told him he’d make friends in time, but that night, when he was in bed, I broke down.‘I imagined him walking around all alone while everyone else played.
It was more than upsetting; it was devastating.’A few weeks later, Natasha spoke to Yasin’s teachers.
I used to joke that the one thing I didn’t have to worry about was him making friends.’His contentment continued through pre-school, which he joined aged two.
On his first day at infant school, he skipped happily into his reception class.
Online message boards are filled with tales of parents seeking help for perceived excessive shyness — with some mothers even claiming their shy child is actually autistic (rather than admit that little Tabitha is just reluctant to put her hand up in class).
Nowadays, with popularity measured in hundreds of Facebook ‘friends’, some painfully shy children have attracted their own clinical label: ‘social phobics’.
Apparently, sufferers of ‘social phobia’ often report blushing around others, feeling anxious when meeting new people or experiencing physical symptoms when talking to others, such as clammy hands, palpitations or feeling faint — all the symptoms of shyness.
Of course, seeing your child miserable because they don’t have friends or haven’t been invited to a birthday party can be difficult for parents.
Despite her husband insisting Sam would be fine, Susan sought help from her son’s teachers.