Our partner

desparation..My 8 year old's symptoms...

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

desparation..My 8 year old's symptoms...

Postby concerned dad » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:10 am

Hi All,
Long shot here but I think my 8 year old son may have symptoms of SM but maybe it's just similar? Here are the main symptoms as I see them:
1) Will not converse with adults outside of his normal day to day circles. He's fine in class but if he happened to bump into his teacher at an unexpected place, forget it - he's tightlipped and staring at the floor. Same goes for coaches and even extended family.
2) If he is in trouble at home for a minor thing like refusing to do homework, certain punishments such as a lose of TV for an evening cause him to enter this stubborn state where he won't talk (unless he's repeating the same line over and over) but mostly stares at the floor, follows us around and grunts for attention, regardless of how long we ignore the grunting or put him to his room. This will last for hours. SOMEtimes, I can offer him a hug and a few words of encouragement and he snaps out of it, but he's so stubborn I can't figure him out. This is our biggest problem because it effects our whole family on a regular basis.

Otherwise, he's a happy little boy with normal behavior and lots of friends. I'd love to know if this sounds familiar to anyone?
concerned dad
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:56 am
Local time: Tue Nov 24, 2020 9:34 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


ADVERTISEMENT

Re: desparation..My 8 year old's symptoms...

Postby seabreezeblue » Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:22 pm

Hiya..

I can see why you're worried and trying to find an answer.. really difficult situation.

To me (and i'm certainly no expert here..), this sounds more like an autism/aspergers scenario than a selective mutism one.

I'm not saying by any means that he does have autism/aspergers.. just that i can see some traits in what you've said.
Have you asked your doctor or his school to refer him to a specialist.?

What I would recommend for the time being though is for you to consider doing things a little differently. Some children don't respond well to standard parenting methods so a different style can be really helpful (and will ease your stressload as well)
So.. instead of punishing him for not doing his homework by removing television time, reward him for doing his homework by giving him television time.
Question though.. why doesn't he do his homework?

The thing with bumping into people in unexpected places is that your son hasn't got the manual for this.. he freezes most likely because he didn't imagine this happening and therefore has no way to react when it does happen.
What you could do to help things is to speak to him about the incidents (when he's calm) and offer solutions to the problem.
Tell him that there are social rules and one of them is that we should all say hello to people that we meet if they say hello or hi or hey to us first.
Let him know that he is expected to say hello and smile but if he doesn't want to chat then that's fine.
His habit of repeating the same line over and over again.. what does he say when he's saying that?
This sounds like a self soothing thing and he's trying to express himself by saying the same phrase until he's either heard by you or himself..
Shine me a light up
and i'll run round the moon..
User avatar
seabreezeblue
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 5667
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:07 pm
Local time: Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:34 am
Blog: View Blog (26)

Re: desparation..My 8 year old's symptoms...

Postby concerned dad » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:43 am

Thanks for the reply Seabreezeblue. I definitely hear you on the autism/asperbergers symptoms but I've run through a lot of info on characteristics/symptoms and he really doesn't fit into those categories. Why won't he do homework...he does it routinely most times, homework was just an example. It could be any behavior that an eight year old boy might normally not want to do - go to bed on time, take a bath, get a shower, eat your supper, etc. It's just that he's so stubborn we usually resort to removing privledges which is when things go bananas. It's like a real power struggle that you don't see coming..The repeating phrase thing would be something like, " I want to watch TV" over and over again or he'll grunt repeatedly. We've done the reward charts and the positive encouragement (SOS Help for Children, Kazdin Method) but it's hard to keep that up if improvements are not showing.
I feel like I've had an epiphany with him over the last few days - I'm thinking his behavior is his way of responding similar to when on the spot in social situations. I asked him if he recognizes feeling the same way as when he's on the spot socially and when he's "in trouble" and he said "probably" but wouldn't talk about it any more. lol I can't stress it enough that he's a totally normal kid otherwise, just can't put my thumb on it. We have talked to his family doc, but he wanted to hold off on further testing.
I thought somebody on this board might relate to what I'm describing but there's been no other reponses.
concerned dad
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:56 am
Local time: Tue Nov 24, 2020 9:34 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: desparation..My 8 year old's symptoms...

Postby Distant1 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:04 pm

Hello.

Has your child ever been treated for any Anxiety related issues? Does he have Shallow breathing, Chew his nails, or do anything bizarre that could be a coping mechanism. SM is an Anxiety based disorder and you should be looking for those type of traits.

Has anyone ever approached you before and let you know that they have never heard your child speak or it's been a very long time? Do you see him in certain settings not contributing verbally from the time you arrive to the time you leave? I believe that if your child had SM and he's already 8 you would have/should have been informed at some point through school that he's on a silent streak.

Closing down at the encounter of a staff member is not an indication of SM. If that same staff member says he's never talked in front of me before than you have an issue.

Hope this helps.
Distant1
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:37 pm
Local time: Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:34 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: desparation..My 8 year old's symptoms...

Postby concerned dad » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:51 am

Thank you so much. I completly agree with your anxiety assessment. I feel like I've finally gotten closer to understand why my son acts the way he does. I've always been hesistant to get him checked due to the fact he probably wouldn't speak to any therapist or doctor candidly. He almost failed his hearing test because of this. Secondly, we were talked out of it by our family doctor (told to wait it out).
concerned dad
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:56 am
Local time: Tue Nov 24, 2020 9:34 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: desparation..My 8 year old's symptoms...

Postby Distant1 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:50 pm

Waiting it out is the worst thing you can do. Does that work for any medical issue? It certainly doesn't work for this one. We didn't know how to treat our daughter in her earlier stages and the doctors are so misinformed about it they'll have you chasing your tail in circles. When that happened to us our child went pervasively Mute and we didn't hear her talk for about 7 straight months. Not one single word was spoke for 7 months. I'm not saying that will be your situation but in order to ensure a healthy future for your 8 year old you need to secure his past.

You didn't answer any of the questions I asked about his silence in settings.
Distant1
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:37 pm
Local time: Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:34 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: desparation..My 8 year old's symptoms...

Postby realityhere » Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:58 am

Have you actually had your son's hearing tested by a reputable ear speech and hearing clinic, not by some run-of-the-mill audiologist office? Most audiologists are not trained for pediatric hearing tests and that takes a different testing methodology. Just sayin'.
realityhere
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 2637
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:31 pm
Local time: Tue Nov 24, 2020 6:34 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


Return to Selective Mutism Forum




  • Related articles
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests