If a child is often “in their own world” and routinely engages in repetitive movements, then they must have some form of Autism, right? Maybe not!
If a parent or teacher describes a child as frequently off task because they constantly seem to be daydreaming, then they must have ADHD, right? Maybe not!
If a well-liked child spends recess time alone and seeming to pretend, then they must have a social anxiety disorder, right? Maybe not!
It could be Maladaptive or Elaborated Daydreaming.
In a recent presentation, David Causey, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist discussed this fascinating, yet little known, topic. Dr. Causey shared that maladaptive daydreaming is extensive fantasy activity that may interfere with academic, interpersonal, or vocational functioning. These individuals often immerse themselves in vivid alternative universes which they prefer to reality. This is still an emerging condition in the field of psychology.