Kids who are awkward around other kids yet social around adults
There's another type of socially anxious child, and that's the youngster who seems to prefer the company of grown-ups over other children. These kids may seem mature beyond their years and can be quite comfortable interacting with adults, even strangers. Yet they are shy, awkward, and reserved around kids their own age. So on one hand, their social skills in interacting with adults would suggest against a social anxiety disorder. On the other hand, their reluctance to interact with kids their own age can signal problems.
If this describes your child, you must ask yourself what causes this split personality. In some cases, it may simply be a child's preference. Kids can be loud, obnoxious, immature, and unpredictable. Each child's personality is different, and some kids are simply more mature by nature and thus more inclined to gravitate towards adult interests. It's not that other kids make them anxious; it's that they find their behavior more annoying and their activities less interesting.
In other cases, however, the more unpredictable nature of peer-to-peer interaction is precisely what makes them anxious. Adults are also more kind, accepting, and less judgmental (towards kids anyway) than are other children. So it could be that a child interacts so well with adults simply because they don't present the same social challenges that peers do. In this situation, the disparity is created by social anxiety, and is likely to cause problems down the road.