SELECTIVE MUTISM STORIES
I am a parent of two boys, my eldest is 11 years with Selective Mutism. His difficulties in nursery school were noted because of not speaking but no one ever told us the name Selective Mutism. He was diagnosed with Autism at 6 years. When I was at school my voice just wouldn't work and I thought I had grown out of it but now at 42 I still struggle to form friendships with people and as a result, I dont have any proper friends.
My teenage years were awful as I never went out and people didn't really physically hurt me but I had plenty of verbal abuse. Then I went to college and similar experiances happened. At 20 years old, I went to live in Canada to be a nanny on my own. I loved it and I was better at relating to the children.....I only lasted there 5 months as they could not afford a nanny anymore. Since leaving Canada my mom has actually said I think you were a different person in Canada and even though I still was quiet I was mamaging quite well and did manage to meet a lovely group of friends.
I grew up in a small town and remember going to school and not talking at all. I was diagnosed with Selective Mutism when I was five. I wouldn't even talk to the doctor who diagnosed me. I would just nod or shake my head. I would talk around my family but when my extended family that a saw twice a year came around I wouldn't say anything. Several kids would get fustrated that I wouldn't speak to them. Teachers would get mad and think I was doing it on purpose. I had a teacher who gave a speech about me in class in front of everyone. School was my worst nightmare, even my parents were disapointed and frustrated. You can't force a child with Selective Mutism to speak, it just makes it worse.
In fifth grade I finally started talking. All the kids were surprised and they freaked out. Now I am a Freshmen in college and I'm told that I am too loud. I feel like this is a major accomplishment since I never spoke in school. My goal is to help other children suffering from SM and inform schools about this disorder.
I have a daughter with Selective Mutism and she also has Down Syndrome. Throughout Sarah's life most people have assumed that they knew all about Sarah because of her obvious disability of Down Syndrome. What's not obvious immediately is that she has SM! Through her many years of school it has been an uphill battle for me to get professionals and educators to understand. The Down syndrome is a "piece of cake" in comparison. They just have not been able to get past thinking "oh, she's just shy."
So here I am, once again. Researching for official "backup" documents to show that her behaviors and issues are definitely SM. Her grandmother has dealt with similar issues, although not clinically diagnosed nor as severe.
Having Down Syndrome and Selective Mutism is definitely rare and I would love to talk with anyone who has the same situation!