Tag Archives: Parents resources

Why some kids may not be “coming out of their shell”

I used to be a Social Shellfish. I was a very quiet kid, lurking around the fringe of most activities rather than joining in completely. Lurking was something I did well. And outside of school, I lurked at home. I was a hermit, accomplished lurker and recluse, somewhere near the murky seabed of the social order. In a way, this was exactly what I wanted. Before MLC and Johansen IAS therapies, I never felt lonely at school. Simply because I didn’t know the difference.

Many parents and teachers talk about helping kids to “come out of their shell”, like coaxing a timid, delicate Hermit Crab from its armour. With some kids, coaxing can have little or no effect. I was so quiet at school that I got sent to Guidance twice. Feeling that there was something “wrong” with me, but not knowing what it was or how to cope with it, I stonewalled their kindly attempts at helping me. 

What teachers possibly don’t consider is this:

The reason why Hermit Crabs have strong shells to hide inside is because many other animals want to eat them.

Remove the threat (perceived or otherwise), and the shell is no longer required. 

Some kids put up walls because of struggles with Learning Differences, such as Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia and Auditory Processing Disorder. Retained Reflexes/Neuro-developmental Delay can cause physical timidity and anxiety issues. Bullying is also a big problem which affects many kids.

I didn’t “come out of my shell” until I had help with problems caused by Auditory Processing Disorder and Retained Reflexes/Neuro-Developmental Delay.

By this time, I had nearly finished school. With my internal struggles resolved, engaging with the outside world made sense. For the first time, it was easy to talk to other people and make new friends. I could hold my own in arguments and was socially alert, no longer an easy target. Less stressed, my grades went up, and I had the energy for out-of-school activities with friends. I no longer just tried my best cope with school. I actually started to have fun. My last school year was definitely the best.

“Coming out of my shell” didn’t mean that I had lost a means of defending myself in social situations. Going to Johansen IAS and The Movement and Learning Centre Scotland, gave me the unscrambled hearing, mental wherewithal, and emotional balance to be on an even level with my age group. I was equal to challenges which I would previously have withdrawn from as a method of coping.

Sure, armour can protect you, but it also weighs you down. Many children (and adults) could benefit hugely from these therapies, which remove barriers to leading a happy, healthy life and unlock potential.