WHAT IS SELECTIVE MUTISM
Selective Mutism is known to be a fear of being heard or seen speaking in certain situations, leading a child to speak in some settings and not in others. Children with this condition are typically comfortable speaking at home but, they often do not talk at school. For a child with this condition, entering an unfamiliar setting like school or daycare may seem threatening or dangerous. The child's school administrators and teacher should lower the childs anxiety, and not force the child to speak. The lower the anxiety, the better chance for the child to speak. The main focus is to get the child comfortable, then work on the speaking part. Some children shut down or appear frozen and some are so self conscious that they will not eat in front of others or will avoid using the restroom at school.
Some parents worry that teachers might underestimate the skills of a child who does not speak in the classroom. The key is to intervene early. The sooner the child is helped to work through his/her fear of speaking, the better. We think it's unfair to say that children with Selective Mutism choose not to talk, but can't talk because of anxiety.
Normally when asked to speak, they often put their head down, and show signs of anxiety. Most children with Selective Mutism let people know that they want or need something by pointing, nodding, or writing something down. Experts say that this condition occurs more often in girls than boys. Children are also at a greater risk of being bullied.
A management team is very important. It requires the parents help, school administrators, teachers, and other professionals. Working together to come up with a plan is the best thing for the child. If the child has other instructors in school like art, music, and gym teachers, they should also be involved in the meeting.
Voice your opinion about how your child is at home, so they can get to know his/her personality. Find out if the school has a staff member that deals with children with special learning needs. Psychologist and other specialist that have a background in psychology should also be part of the team.
This is the reason why we have our goal charts, so you can have daily communication with your child's teacher. We know how busy a teacher can get, so we made our charts very easy to fill out. You will send the chart to school every Monday and the teacher will return it home on Fridays. This way you, along with any specialist can see what the child is doing in school.