My son walks in circles and talks to himself, should I be worried?

I don’t know if I should be concerned at this point or not.  My eldest son walks around in circles and talks to himself.  He seems to be trying to figure things out.  When I ask what he is doing, he will reply “Nothing” and leave the room.  He has been doing this for many years.  I thought he would grow out of it. He doesn’t have any friends and walks around the school yard with his Ipod plugged into his ears.  He does spend alot of time on his computer and watching YouTube.  I encourage him to invite friends over, but that only happens on his birthday – and not everyone shows up.  I have spoken to his teachers and guidance counsellor about my concerns, but have not received any feedback. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

The behaviors you mention could be symptomatic of a serious problem or they could be normal variations.

There is a huge range of personalities that are normal. Some people are quite sociable and others like to spend time alone. The most important factor to determine how much to worry is how his behavior is preventing him from succeeding in growing up. If he is succeeding in school, fits into his family and not limited in his activities by anxiety or depression, there is less to worry about.

There are three things I would suggest:

  1. Continue to try and link with his school.
  2. Have a chat with his doctor. He or she may want to see him to do an assessment.
  3. Encourage him to follow his interests. Is he interested in games such as chess, or some sport or some other activity? Help him find a club at school, or the community centre, that can help him pursue his passion.
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3 Responses to My son walks in circles and talks to himself, should I be worried?

  1. Madlin Espinosa says:

    my son is about to be 5yrs old and he too also does this. he used to just constantly walk in circles but now that hes older he runs from wall to wall! i have no idea why and im concerned

    • Dr. Pat says:

      The major issue is whether or not your son is doing well in other areas. If he is learning and developing very well, I would not be concerned. If he is having difficulty learning and behaving, you should see his doctor to discuss his development.

  2. dusty says:

    Hi wow this sounds like my son , he is 7 and he also walks in circles and talkes to himself constanly . and runs back and forth on hands and feet like an animal . also repeats words and phrases he hears constantly . he also has extreme anxiety where he cannot attend school . he has been tested for autism they say he has a complex develemental behavier disorder . also possible ADHD aspergers . he laso scored really low on his OT assesment . you may want to get your child tested .