Arianna is our eldest daughter, and she is so special. She was always a quiet baby and hardly ever cried. She walked, talked, and was potty trained at an early age. Arianna started modeling from the age of six months to three years old. It was around the age of three when we started to notice a change in her behavior. She would put her head down and start to cry when someone tried to speak to her.
She entered school at the age of five and I mentioned to the school that she is very shy. They then told us she will be just fine and will be talking within a week. After the second day, we started getting calls from the school. She was not talking, eating, crying and had frequent restroom accidents. We had a meeting with the school counselor and she made horrible allegations. After a couple of months, her teacher mentioned Selective Mutism. We looked it up and everything they had listed was exactly what she was doing in school. We finally had a name. I started making calls for help immediately and found out that many people had never heard of this condition.
The next three years we had at this school was hard for Arianna. It was so bad that we had to get a psychological transfer to go to a new school. I met with the new principal and school administrators to explained Selective Mutism and how important it was to work together. I gave them all the information that I had and showed them a video of her talking at home. I explained to them that the talking is not the main focus, but getting her to feel comfortable. We came up with a plan and worked together.
Arianna met her teacher before school started and got a chance to look at her new classroom. The school was so positive and it helped to lower her anxiety. I worked one on one with the teacher, supplied goal charts, and personal information about Arianna. She spoke for the first time ever in school that year. The following year, she was whispering and talking even more. I had to talk and advocate for her, since she could not. This is my little girl and she deserves all the help she can get.
Arianna is very caring towards people and very smart. She has been getting good grades and has been on the honor roll many times. She loves animals, reading, playing games, and dreams of going to college. She is the bravest little girl and the reason why I decided to help other parents also going through this.
Angelique is our youngest child with Selective Mutism. Our doctor told us to watch for signs of Selective Mutism like her older sister. We put her in daycare at the age of two and after five days they were asking us, "does she ever talk at home". Since we knew about the condition and what steps to take, we jumped right into action.
I took her to get an evaluation and received an IEP Plan. I then took this plan to my other daughters school and they also worked with Angelique. She started when she was three and her anxiety was very high. Angelique would not talk but would eat lunch, snack, and use the restroom.
We found out that she loved Michael Jackson and would sing and dance in front of anyone when his music came on. She had a MJ birthday party and spoke for the first time in front of other family members. She yelled, "I love Michael Jackson" and I almost fainted. I decided to use Michael Jackson to help her with her Selective Mutism in school. I gave her teacher a Michael Jackson doll, music, movies and magazines. We came up with a plan and a goal chart. I also had the teacher talk through her MJ doll. After a few weeks, she started to talk. The teacher rewarded her with a song or one of his videos in the class every time she would try. When they promised to play his movie, she smiled and has not stopped talking since.
She is now telling her older sister to talk more in school. Angelique loves to play at the park, ride her bike, and watch movies. We are so proud of her.