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Can't say names of adults

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Can't say names of adults

Postby DebCee » Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:13 am

Hello, I'm new here and wondering if anyone has heard of something that my daughter experiences. She is 10 years old now and has an extensive vocabulary. Since she was about 4 yeas old she has great difficulty saying the names of adult family members and friends. She has no problem saying the names of her young friends and strangers or famous people young and old. Although she has grown up with her maternal grandmother living with us in the home she is not able to call her grandma. I find this so strange. She says mom and dad with no problem. Any thoughts on what this could be?
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Re: Can't say names of adults

Postby seabreezeblue » Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:06 pm

That's unusual..

has she been able to explain what she's feeling and thinking about the names?

I can understand her struggling with the name Grandma - no idea if her problem with that word is similar to what i'm thinking but I mean.. what is a Grandma anyway? - unpick the word and it becomes 'Grand Ma'.. 'Grand Mother'.. - as in 'Mother in charge'.
Totally understandable if a child finds it weird to use that word.

As a child, i struggled a little with things like that - i was taught that you had to use a title to address an adult but I couldn't bring myself to call an unrelated woman 'auntie' - that was untrue.
Then again.. it's rude to call an adult by their first name if you're a child.. and yep.. lose lose situation for any child that has an analytical mind.

I assume your daughter is a pretty smart kid..

I might be completely on the wrong track here but have a chat with your daughter.. ask her what she'd like to call her Grandma and ask her why she can't use that name.
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Re: Can't say names of adults

Postby DebCee » Sun May 01, 2016 3:30 am

I agree that it's unusual. She says she just can't bring herself to say the names outloud. This applies to all family members over 13. No titles or names. Even in conversation with me she will refer to different ones as "your sister or brother, your mother, daddy"s mother, so and so's father or mother". So she is uncomfortable saying the name even if the person is not around. Once a friend of ours tried to get her to say his name when she answered the phone. He was laighing about it and she did eventually say his name quickly and quietly but she told me it was making her stomach hurt. Obviously she gets anxious about it but I can't figure ot why. Has anyone heard of something like this?
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Re: Can't say names of adults

Postby seabreezeblue » Sun May 01, 2016 9:00 am

hopefully she'll be able to explain a bit better when she gets older and can understand her thoughts and feelings a bit more.
Have you taken her to a doctor at all and what have they said if you have?
if you haven't taken her to a doc then i'd be inclined to leave it for the time being unless the inability to speak broadens and affects other areas - if your daughter is still struggling with this when she's 11 or 12 then it might be worth investigating a bit more.
If she's got other issues that could do with helping with (ie; social anxiety or possible aspergers/autism) then please do get a referral for her but with the inability to speak issue, it's often the case that focusing on it and making the child aware that there's a problem, that can cause the issue to become deeper rooted.. (and it sounds like quite a mild issue for for right now)

I will definitely say though that your friend shouldn't ever try and force her to say his name.. while i'm sure he thought it was funny and he likely didn't mean to upset her, it's clear that the effects for your daughter were quite serious and severe..
i think that sometimes adults forget just how huge things like that can be for children - anxiety as a child has a habit of becoming your entire world and that phone incident sounds pretty traumatic for her.
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Re: Can't say names of adults

Postby Killuminatimj » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:57 am

It might be OCD, I cant say certain names or words because it sets off my tics. Its weird i know and i have no idea about the logic behind it but thats what it is for me, maybe you should look for other symptoms
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Re: Can't say names of adults

Postby Cath-Cy » Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:15 am

Are there any other subtle difficulties? Can she speak in a group? Can she initiate conversations or ask for help e.g. at school? Can she be assertive? Can she say please, thank you, hello, goodbye etc. She could have low profile selective mutism - look on SMIRA 's Facebook site. Generally the advice is to remove the pressure - so tell her it doesn't matter and she will say it when she's ready.
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Re: Can't say names of adults

Postby mitfy » Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:12 pm

i had a similar problem. for the longest time i couldn't address people by their names (ex, "hey, [name], look at this") aside from the younger of my two older brothers, elliot. it wasn't until sometime in middle school where i began to feel comfortable with doing so with others. but still, i find it hard to address adults by their names, like teachers or older family members.
the only thing different is that i'm able to do it when said person isn't around.

i think if you haven't taken your daughter to a therapist or similar yet, maybe you should. or it could get better with age. i only had therapy for my SM in the earliest years of elementary school (and possibly pre-k, i can't remember), but i managed to get comfortable with names on my own as i got older.
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