My son isn't very sociable in daycare and the director suggested special needs classes: Thoughts?

Hi, I’m looking for some advice on my three year old’s social skills. We put him in Daycare/Preschool about three months ago to get him some much socialization (he stayed home prior to that). Today the director came to me to express that she was worried he was non-verbal and how he doesn’t actively participate in class. She then recommended that he join a Special Needs class. The thing is, he’s not non-verbal as he’s very conversational at home and even when we go out together. In my opinion, he’s just very shy and doesn’t feel comfortable talking to others when I’m not there. It took him a while to even open up to extended family members. I just don’t know what to do to help him in school as I can’t be there. I don’t think separating him from his class is going to help him be more social. I’m at a loss of what to do.


He’s only 3 and the director should know better than to suggest special needs!!! I would be so mad at that…some children develop slower than others but don’t mean they need special needs


I wonder if moving him to the other class may benefit him? It possibly may be a smaller class and the teachers in that room may be able to work more closely with him for him to open up and develop a bond.
I would tell the teacher your concerns and how he isn’t non verbal, however I always preach a smaller class is beneficial for some children. I wouldn’t label it as a special ed class though.
The teacher should have never used those words with you because they cant label. That was unfair, however I wonder if they have other concerns other than not speaking?


Sheesh hes only 3, I agree with you, maybe tell the director you disagree and he may need just a little more time, being he is so shy…


He’s probably just introverted. He’ll figure out his own social qualities in his own time.

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My daughter was like this until the age of 10 and then just started socializing more. She was so shy she would sit on the teacher’s lap in pre-school during play time. All kids do things in their own time, just as adults do.


I’ve had non verbal students. If he talks at home he is going to be just fine. Some teachers are just lazy and don’t want to put in the extra effort.


He may be overwhelmed in a regular class. The special needs classes are smaller, more one on one from teachers. It may help him to feel more comfortable.

He’s 3!!! He may be processing separation anxiety and being around strangers. Do you have the option to go sit in on a class with him to interact with him and the other kids?

No need to worry about your kiddo. I was like that in school too up til middle school. I’d rather watch and listen then talk. But I would have a sit down discussion with your kiddos actual teacher and not the director. Directors are not there enough and have no business nor training to even suggest such a thing. If it really was an issue and came down to it the teacher should be having a discussion with you along with someone whom is actually trained in things like this.

My son actually does have special needs so he started public school at three. He was a chatterbox at home but wouldn’t talk at school. He spoke a little more in his second year. He’s in his third year of Pre-K and has already met his IEP speech goal for the entire year. Your son doesn’t need special ed. He needs time to feel confident and comfortable. My son’s teachers have repeatedly said he’s an observer and has expanded socially every year. It’s ridiculous to suggest special ed for your son. He’s an observer, too. He doesn’t have any developmental delays that would require special ed. The longer he’s around other kids, the more comfortable he’ll be and then he’ll demonstrate his abilities.


Sounds like he needs a new daycare. Maybe smaller? More individualized?

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It has only been three months and he wasn’t around other kids prior. I would ask to let him have more time to adjust to his new environment, the whole point is for him to learn to socialize. If that doesn’t work, find a new place to take him and explain to them how he is.

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The child could just be introverted,some these teachers don’t know of these types of personalities?

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Ultimately it’s your choice. don’t be pressured into doing something you don’t want to and don’t accept that the teacher pretends to know your kid better than you do. just let him keep going, hes only 3

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At age three i wouldnt be too worried .Hes only been there 12 weeks . Thats why you sent him to school . I say give it a little more time before putting Special labels on him.

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My 3 year old is same way he’s very quite reserved and takes a long time to warm up to anyone he’s just now started talking to my mom aka nana she didn’t even think he could talk at home he talks alot he’s just shy maybe see if a smaller class room could benefit him I’m about to start taking my 3 year old to story time at a library near me with my sister so he can have his cousin who is also 3 be there with him and hopefully break him out of his shell a bit

I swear they just want to put kids on the spectrum anytime there is something remotely not “normal”. Tell them to eff off.

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He’s nervous. It’s a new environment and he’s shy. I’d tell her that and if she moves him to a special needs class solely due to his lack of socialization, i would find a new day care. She doesnt seem like she really knows much about kids in general


Is it possible you could go in to observe for a bit to better understand what the teacher means?


My now 20yr old was that way when he was little and it was shyness and I was always asked by teachers early in if he ever talked and at home he was a chatter box. When he is comfortable he will talk and not a moment sooner. I wouldn’t worry till he was in 1st grade if this persists.


I seriously doubt he is special needs. He’s probably getting used to a new environment, processing and taking it all in. Honestly, I’d be offended. Just because one child doesn’t immediately blend with the rest of the children does not mean they’re disabled. Seriously, shame on that lady. Encourage your baby boy, I’m sure he will be just fine! If they’re going to put a child in special needs classes because of their socialization skill, or lack there of, Id switch schools flat out.


Some children are just really shy


You so can go in his classroom for a little while and visit. Talk to the director about it. Tell her you want to go in the room with him and observe him before you decide.

If you aren’t sure what to do, have his pediatrician see him.


Find out what special needs entails. As much as the class label may sting, it may be fun for your kiddo. He sounds introverted and happiest at home with family, so a smaller class with less noise but the same toys may appeal. If daycare has the resources for a special class, take advantage. Won’t hurt to try it, but special needs could mean anything from restricted play to feeding tubes to allergies to autism so it may not be a class your child gets any benefits from.

If he’s not non verbal…tell her no. Is he delayed? Putting him in special needs because he’s quiet will not give him preschool to HIS full potential.

Maybe he don’t like the teacher.

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I swear this person is describing my (almost) 4yr old daughter!!! Many have expressed concerns, including myself… but I figure as long as she’s still where she should be even if it’s only at home, she’ll open up when she’s good and ready.
And the sad truth of it, with the way the world is- I’m ok with her being skeptical of strangers!!

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Its just the people in his school. Alot of kids dont talk at school but will at home. Its usually the kids and staff

Ok s the Directora doctor? 

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Might be his personality, not that outgoing.

I wouldnt take the director’s POV. If your worried see your doctor.

How verbal do they have to be at 3 years old and in Daycare? Daycare/preschool was excellent for my son. They only took so many children and several on staff. So is this like a classroom situation or what? When I went it was very low key. finger painting, reading books to us, play time, naps (I didn’t nap though), focused more on motor skills I think. I don’t recall having to be vocal though. So kind of curious about what they do now to auto label a 3 year old.

So that’s what you would do to your kids. Just stick them in the Speical class. Why not stick him on the short bus while your at it. Why let him socialize with normal people.  sarcasm

My boys were just like this. My oldest warmed up to his classmates after about 6 months and my youngest took over a year before he would talk to anyone they were both very shy and uncomfortable without mommy there. It took time but they finally got there. Just be patient mom if it doesn’t resolve then look into outside help but I’d be patient especially with him being social at home.

The kid is shy and maybe he just introverted ! Don’t let some slow teacher think there is something wrong with your baby …he will make friends when he’s ready:))

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My daughter started “school” about 2 months ago (half days m/w/f) and they told us they had concerns too. We (my husband and I) decided to just give her time as, like your son, she was verbal with us but had spent all of her time home with us. Every day she comes home talking more. If you are concerned then bring it up with your pediatrician who can probably give you some good recommendations. If you aren’t concerned then just give him some time

Tell her to just give him time.

Be is only 3. Perhaps be does not really need socialization of that kind. If be is talkative other places Don t worry. Besides be is only 3. Maybe it is a little overwhelming for him. DO NOT let them label him. Labels. Stick

Did his teacher tell you this? What did his teacher tell you? The director is not a doctor and if he is fine at home I wouldn’t worry about it

I think the longer he stays there, the more comfortable he will be. Hopefully he will start talking more and snatch on to a Best Friend.
Another possibility would be to try another pre-school.

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Wait till he get older when his ready

My daughter was the same exact way ! He needs time! The older he gets, the more social he will get. My daughter is now 8, I put her in activities outside of school and she became a social butterfly ! GIVE HIM TIME :blush:

My son started actual school this year. His teacher says he super super quiet and a good boy. At home hes like the leader of wwe smackdown and is NEVER quiet. He’ll open up when he’s ready :slight_smile:

Maybe try a smaller environment. Possibly a home daycare. A classroom full of kids can be very overwhelming.

If you think he needs extra time to adjust, tell them. Ask the teacher to take him aside during quiet time and try to socialize with him. Then perhaps he will feel more comfortable with the teacher and eventually open up to the class, and the teacher will see that he’s not special needs in the meantime, rather just slow to adjust. Advocate for your child.

I know that changing schools can be exhausting but if he isnt opening up then he isnt comfortable if your gut is telling you that he is nervous or anxious listen to it because my daughter is so smart and loving and I was told she needed behavior and learning disability testing that was pre k she is now in kindergarten and LOVES school she just wasnt comfortable and her teacher wasnt very welcoming to her

give it time-only been 3 months. Teacher needs to be creative with her teaching skills

I was a 3s teacher and that was the age where each child was very much their own! The wild one, the talker, and the quiet one. A better consideration is whether your child is engaged, showing initial interest, or observing. Maybe the philosophy doesn’t align with your child’s interests? I disagree with labeling Special Needs by a Director that isn’t your child’s teacher.

How rude of her. You know your child and how he is and what is best for him. It sounds like he just needs time to break out of his shell! I know a lot of kids that barely talk in school but talk non stop at home. Home is their comfort zone. I wouldn’t worry about it :two_hearts:

Teachers wrong. My nursery staff knew this about my child as she wouldn’t play with other kids and would just be in her own world. They let her ride it out and slowly and surely she progressed and now she’s getting there to actually play with other! Tell them he’s not special needs he just needs time. Jesus he hasn’t even had a diagnosis yet so could even be just shy!

wow, she should not have said that. he is young and alot of kids at that age dont talk around strangers it takes a while. i would change preschools

Janie Ruhling did you get my note in messenger?

My daughter is very shy as well and around the same age. We just recently put her in a smaller activities class and she opened up a lot after some time. There’s only 8-10 kids in her class, but she is/was the same way as your son, with extended family members as well. It just takes some time, she growls at new people still from time to time :joy::woman_shrugging:t3:

Some people are just quite I wasn’t quite as a child but I am quite as an adult I sit back and watch maybe he’ll be someone that uses 4 of the other sense such as his ears and his eyes vs always talking

But in reality maby putting him in a class where they can help bribing him to his full potential before real school could be a benefit . Her example would be his verbal skills against another. My sisters kid has situational mutism I think that what it’s called . He will not talk in public .

We had a kiddo in our class like that, and mom brought in a video of him talking up a storm! He was just shy so we let him be in our class and just tried to engage with him more, I would tell her you don’t want to take him out of his class. He’ll be fine :blush: my niece is so shy everyone was so worried about her going to school this year because she was always at home, but she’s doing great and has a lot of friends!!

I would get a professional assessment. While the preschool teacher isn’t a doctor, her experience with children shouldn’t be ignored…I would arrange an assessment…

My four year old is non social as well. She is shy. Just b/c a three year old is shy, does not mean he’s on the spectrum. There will be other signs as well. Boys language skills do not develop as quick as their female counterparts. Einstein didn’t even speak a word till he was 3 and received C’s in math. I would look into completing an online developmental profile with your son… they are lots of fun and by you doing it at home with him, the profile will be more accurate. If he is behind developmentally, the profile will tell you where. If there are area of concerns, then take him to a developmental psychologist for an evaluation (takes around 4 hours at this age, sometimes, they do two, 4 hour sessions. Hang in there. I encourage social interaction with my non social child and she has come a long way.

My child didnt say one word for at least the first 4yrs of school,but at home he talked non stop. He was fine its probably just gonna take time.I put mine in special needs and it didnt make a bit of difference.he will grow out of it…don’t do everything they tell you,nobody knows your child like you do and you know best.

dont label him and dont let a DAYCARE worker label him either. give him time and keep your communication open with him about school.

How long has he been there? At the daycare I work at we keep them in the regular class and let them play with others at their own pace. We have had children that were non verbal before and while it takes time for them to integrate they will at their own pace.

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I would seek the opinion of your pediatrician.

I’m sorry your going through this. My daughter had special needs and I wanted her to spend time some time at regular school. But she was non verbal but was still very smart, she wouldn’t cooperate with their tests cause she understood everything they said, so regardless they stuck her in a state school. She was there two weeks and her teacher bragged how bright she was. I would look into placing him into another preschool. It’s not fair to him to to be put where his skills are limited. Good luck

Do not worry. Many kids are non social out of their surroundings. Takes them awhile to get used to it. My daughter was and is very shy at school and out in public but at home she is perfectly fine. She is now 7 years old. No special needs classes. If your concerned speak to the pediatrician.

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Yea separating him won’t help. My son has social skills as well adleast his school works with him and he’s grown and talked so much and has friends now give it some time momma

Is there a day care for smaller groups.

No special needs class no child is sociable all the time just like adults he may just not like any one in his class