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Introductions

Selective Mutism message board, open discussion, and online support group.

Introductions

Postby Dad2Three » Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:05 pm

Hello everyone,

Im searching for help for my 4.5yo daughter who isn't talking in preschool. We are looking for success stories and guidance and sharing our progress with the group.
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Re: Introductions

Postby Kirkykoo » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:22 pm

Hi we are in exactly the same position as you.. How are you getting on? Any tips / advice would be gratefully received.
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Re: Introductions

Postby clairekitty » Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:52 am

I know this is way late, but I'm an adult who had selective mutism from age 4 to the time I had to drop out of college because of it (it still affects me today in certain situation, but I'm mostly alone all the time and don't go out much). The reason I never really got better is because I was not diagnosed or treated for it until I was 15.

If you have any questions, please feel free to private message me. Sometimes I think it's helpful to be able to understand SM through the eyes of someone who has actually experienced it and is able to explain what helps and what hurts.

I would suggest seeing a psychiatrist. Prozac decreased my anxiety levels A LOT and made it a lot easier to function at school without constantly being on the verge of panic. It's super important to make sure when your child starts school you meet with the disability coordinator at the school ahead of time to develop a 504 plan or an IEP. Some accommodations that helped me were having alternatives to class participation grade, making sure the teacher didn't put me on the spot or ask me a question during class, a pass to leave the class if it was too overwhelming and go to the school psychologist office, etc. Gym class was very difficult for me and just like my voice would freeze, my body would freeze and I couldn't participate. If this ends up being a problem for your child, maybe look into alternatives for gym class.

Other bits of advice: If your child finally does talk, don't make a big deal about it. It causes more anxiety and can be really embarrassing. Don't ever try to force or pressure your child into speaking...it won't work and will likely cause more anxiety. Positive reinforcement is a much better approach. Check out some articles and such from Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum--she is excellent and has developed a treatment approach for SM and has opened a treatment center in Pennsylvannia called SMart Center.

I'm not super good with writing my thoughts, so I hope this was at least a little helpful. Again, if either of you have any questions or would like advice, please message me.
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Re: Introductions

Postby Dad2Three » Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:36 am

Thanks Kirkykoo & clairekitty.
The latest update is so far she seems less anxious but still isnt talking. Her pediatrician did recommend a psychologist and we are waiting for our first appt. We are hoping to learn more about how to help her and I will look for the articles by Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum. We are already putting some of your suggestions to practice by not making a big deal or forcing her but it can be tough in cases where her friends don't understand why she won't say anything back to them.
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