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MnMommy2
04-28-2012, 02:43 AM
sigh... my 7 yr old son Morgan is in the first grade. He is a very happy and smart boy, but in school this year it is a completely different story. He refuses to speak to teachers when called on, even in basic conversation, he does not talk to them. When talking to his peers, he leans in real close to them and speaks, but it is almost a whisper. We've noticed this at home, at times he is talking and laughing and having a good ol' time with his older brother (who has Autism) and other times he is stone cold quiet and will not even look you in the eye when you are trying to talk to him and get a response. I actually was subbing as a Para today at my boys school and his teacher talked to me and expressed her deep concern today about his extreme shyness. She is going to get the ball rolling and contact the school psychologist and school counselor to do some assessments possibly and start some observations. I have noticed this and it is quite frustrating, I just do not know what to do. They brought up "Selective Mutism" and I am familiar with this as I work in a preschool setting and one of the preschoolers has this. I do see a lot of similarities with this student and my son. My son has started to cry for unknown reasons at school and this lasts for 30 or more minutes, I've had lots of calls from the nurse that he was crying and they didn't know why and he wasn't using his words to tell them. They just knew he wasn't hurt from asking him is he hurt and he would shake his head NO. Other times I have had to pick him up at school because he has vomited, once any child vomits, parents are called and you take your child home since they are 'sick' but in this case, my son has worked himself up over something in school and vomited. Like right now, I am on the couch and he is talking up a storm watching Chipwrecked Chipmunk Movie, he is commenting and laughing and very vocal. Now place him in a school setting or at a relatives house or out to eat at a restaurant and he is silent, he will not look up at you and give you eye contact, he most certainly will not tell the waitress what he wants to order for food, if he does it is a whisper, heck sometimes I think he thinks he is whispering but no words are coming out. Anyway, the teachers are quite concerned with his behavior this year and want to do some more research and try to get a handle on this before it gets worse, next year his new teacher make take this as being defiant when there could be something really wrong, so I am looking for any suggestions or advice if anyone has dealt with something like this with their child.

Cjoy2Day
04-28-2012, 04:37 AM
oh Renee I'm so sorry he's dealing with this. I think it's smart to contact someone about it too. My first thought is maybe he's been through some type of trauma but maybe it is something else. I wonder if some type of speech therapy would help him learn to vocalize better.

Kaleb is extremely shy and he will talk very little when we are out in public. He also has a hard time looking you in the face. I have to tell him when we are out to talk to me in my ear sometimes because I can't hear him. It's mainly when he's asking for something vs when he's talking about something. Or when someone asks him a question he just claims up. He did his K screening the other day and to my surprise he didnt have any issues talking to everyone while we were not around. Of course he does take speech there @ the school and Trinity goes there.

I hope you find a solution soon.

MnMommy2
04-28-2012, 06:01 AM
He was fine last year in Kindergarten, this year in 1st grade something changed. Earlier in the school year he had some bullying issues with two boys in his class that had gotten pretty bad. He had gotten kicked in the stomach by one boy at recess and the other boy had threatened him with if he told he'd be in trouble with the school behavior guy, which he had to go talk to in his office to tell him what the boys had done to him. The bullying has stopped but my son still hangs out with one of the offenders and often comes home and tells me things his 'friend' has said throughout the day. I have tried to deter him from hanging out with this boy and have suggested other kids to play with but he is drawn to this boy. My sons teacher has said he seems emotionless during class and she can not initiate any conversation with Morgan. He refuses to talk and ignores her. His recent report card reflects his inability to talk, all of the class participation markings are barely acceptable grades and in Music he never sings and doesn't participate. He is a good artist and excels in art and loves to learn, he is very smart and is above average on most subjects. He is currently reading on a 3rd grade level and is doing advanced spelling words but refuses to speak at school.

MnMommy2
04-28-2012, 06:05 AM
Morgan was in 2 years of preschool and his teacher was very concerned back then on how quiet he is. I want to address this as soon as possible and am happy the school is taking this to another level, I am going to ask around for some local agencies advice. We just changed pediatricians and the new doctor hasn't really seem Morgan except at a physical for my older son and was trying to initiate conversation with him to no avail. I told the doctor he was shy, he got a few laughs and smiles out of him, but no words. I will make an appointment and maybe he can give us a referral to talk to someone to try to get more ideas on how to help him. It just seems like something is always going on with our family and it hasn't been smooth sailing for some time now. It gets a person down ya know?

charmedeebob
04-28-2012, 06:23 AM
wow Renee, what a tough challenge! my first thought, on reading your post, was it really sounds like a social anxiety issue, but in a child that young I'm not even sure that they would diagnose it as such. good luck, he is a lucky boy to have such an involved and concerned mommy that will work with him and be his advocate! *hugs*

rdjrneace
04-28-2012, 10:08 AM
I would really speak with the school about the boy(s) that did the bullying and see if possible to get your son in a different classroom or the other boy. Some children are leaders and others are followers; it may be that the bullying boys told her son that if he talks they might do something to him so your son is taking their threat literally.

I believe the best for everyone is probably some type of counseling specializing in children to determine if the bullying went past bullying to abuse which could be the result of the change in your child.

nutsaboutgabe
04-28-2012, 11:53 AM
Aww Renee - that's tough. I hope, with the schools help, you can get to the bottom of it all.

MnMommy2
04-30-2012, 03:00 AM
thanks ladies. i am taking all of your suggestions, I am going to do some calling tomorrow to see who I can get my son to see outside of the school district for additional help. I blogged a little more in detail about about what has been going on with him.

http://reneez-mnmommy2.blogspot.com/

MSPeeler
04-30-2012, 05:47 AM
Oh my gosh Renee, so heartbreaking! I agree with the others about the bullying causing this.

I knew a little boy (probably age 3 or so though then) who was excitable and hyper and talkative at home around family, and once the babysitter/daycare worker (who was ALSO a family friend!) came around, he was stone cold, silent, shy and skiddish... it turns out this "care-giver" was nothing but an abuser. Once he was old enough to explain to his mom (and me), he informed us in private that she would yell and call him names, and other physical abusvie traits also, SO HEARTBREAKING to hear and yet, it went on for over a YEAR before they realized it wasn't a social disorder causing his sudden change in behavior, but the PERSON he'd been traumatized by....

Good Luck, and I hope for his sake, he can get past it!

lauramarie
04-30-2012, 02:27 PM
Oh gosh, I do not know what to offer in advice I only know this breaks my heart. I cannot believe the actions of other children in being able to kick someone and verbally threaten them at such a young age. I worry so much about my child when he goes to school because my son is so loving and kind. He even says "bless you' when you sneeze and he is only 3 1/2. I wonder if some mean boys would take advantage of his kindness and bully him. Maybe that is part of the reason I have him in karate so he can learn to defend himself if need be. Anyway, honestly if it were me I would pull my son out of the school and homeschool until things improve. I would also send him to a child therapist to see if they can find out what is happening to cause the selective mutism. I know it must be so hard not being able to help with our mommy powers but it really seems the school is the reason for his behaviors. I hope the issues are resolved soon and your boy can be his wonderful self in and out of school. ((((((((hugs)))))))))

Ambelleina
04-30-2012, 02:50 PM
This is so sad. I don't have advise to offer, but I do have so much compassion for you. We definitely haven't had to deal with this in my family--none of us can ever seem to shut up, ha! But when my depression starts to take over me, I do "shut down." I stop talking, I start staring off into space and no matter what happens, I just can't seem to open my mouth. My brain will be reeling, chattering out sentences and paragraphs, but they won't go to my tongue. When I was in the hospital, the psychiatrists said it was a normal way for some to deal with depression, but in real life, it frustrates and angers people when I just stop talking. I was heavily bullied as a child and would spend recess and lunchtime sitting in the bathroom silently, trying to hold my breath so no one heard me in there. I actually did that up to high school, spending lunch in the bathroom because people were so mean to me. It's so difficult to read a child when they shut down. I really wish you the best of luck and I hope your little guy starts feeling better soon.

<3<3<3

photom
04-30-2012, 03:45 PM
Yikes. I am so sorry. I would say since he has done a full turn around in a year- to definitely have it checked out. I'm not sure what the difference between a school counselor and other counselors, but I think you may need to have him go to a counselor outside of the school. That way, I think he may be more comfortable talking about what the real change in school is..... Something about "tattling" to a counselor that works there about a bully or even the teacher is something that I just don't see a 6 or 7 year old doing. Although counselors say they will keep it quiet, your son sounds like he is having trust issues- hence the whispering to friends and family.

As a homeschooling mom, though, I would have to agree with Laura Marie as for the pulling him out and working with him at home. Maybe not for the rest of this year, but for his 2nd grade year. It is AMAZING what a few years in the loving home environment can do. He obviously trusts you, and that's why he did order the pizza on his own. He just NEEDS that loving one on one attention right now. Obviously if you let his academics get behind, then he might regress more, BUT more importantly is him being able to feel comfortable and loved.

Good luck..... It is not an easy road........but just make sure to pray and ask for guidance, and it WILL be given unto you.

photom
04-30-2012, 03:53 PM
This is so sad. I don't have advise to offer, but I do have so much compassion for you. We definitely haven't had to deal with this in my family--none of us can ever seem to shut up, ha! But when my depression starts to take over me, I do "shut down." I stop talking, I start staring off into space and no matter what happens, I just can't seem to open my mouth. My brain will be reeling, chattering out sentences and paragraphs, but they won't go to my tongue. When I was in the hospital, the psychiatrists said it was a normal way for some to deal with depression, but in real life, it frustrates and angers people when I just stop talking. I was heavily bullied as a child and would spend recess and lunchtime sitting in the bathroom silently, trying to hold my breath so no one heard me in there. I actually did that up to high school, spending lunch in the bathroom because people were so mean to me. It's so difficult to read a child when they shut down. I really wish you the best of luck and I hope your little guy starts feeling better soon.
Oh Christina..... I am so saddened about this. I wish I had some sort of advice or even comforting words, but no amount of eloquence can repair damage done in years past. I'm so glad that you have been able to get some help, and you seem to be slowly coming out of your comfort zone. You really do have a lot to offer this world, as we all do, we just need to realize where we best can help and follow through. :bighug:

msbrad
04-30-2012, 04:30 PM
I would really speak with the school about the boy(s) that did the bullying and see if possible to get your son in a different classroom or the other boy. Some children are leaders and others are followers; it may be that the bullying boys told her son that if he talks they might do something to him so your son is taking their threat literally.

I believe the best for everyone is probably some type of counseling specializing in children to determine if the bullying went past bullying to abuse which could be the result of the change in your child.

Ditto.
I've taught children with selective mutism during my teaching career. Their can be a variety of reasons it occurs.
I would strongly suggest meeting with the administration prior to the end of the school and suggest careful placement for your son for next year. They would need to consider the teacher, as well as the combination of the children in the class. He needs the nuturing in the classroom. Hopefully the summer break will will be a healing one.
m

MnMommy2
04-30-2012, 09:09 PM
I called today and the earliest appointment with his pediatrician I can get is June 15, but we are on the cancellation list. This is a new pediatrician so that makes it hard, but his records are transferred over. My son has seen this doc as we went for a physical for scouts for my older son, the doctor was trying to initiate conversation with my younger son to no avail. Hopefully he can make some suggestions and then make a possible referral to a counselor or psychiatrist/therapist. With my crazy insurance I need referrals otherwise I will have to pay out of pocket, I learned that the hard way a few months ago, by bringing my boys to their old clinic.

There is a little over 4 weeks left of school, the bullies are still in his class, but they are seated no where near him. Although when the kids go outside for recess, that is when they seem to be like a magnet to my son. I can't really expect the recess monitors to try to keep certain kids apart, but I will do what I can. The teacher said she would keep an eye on the bullies and keep them apart as much as she can.

I used to work at the school up until December right up until the holiday break. Lots of folks were thinking it was because I stopped working there he regressed, but he was already showing signs of extreme shyness before that, the teacher seemed concerned just 3 weeks into school because she thought he was in almost a fog, seemed very preoccupied and would just stare into space and not get things done, which was quite the opposite from last year. I was subbing in the lunchroom as a monitor on Friday when the teacher stopped and talked to me. The school has asked if I will sub a few more times on Fridays (my day off) and I think I just might just to keep an eye on him! He really seemed like he cared less that I worked there when I did. I work at different school Monday through Thursday and have Fridays off usually. I usually go eat lunch when I can with him and he is completely silent and doesn't talk to me or his friends at lunch. I was going to go to lunch with him this Friday as well. The class has assigned seats and the teacher has seated my son around all girls, I think he likes that, but still he sits ever so quiet with an occassional lean in to whisper something to his friend (a girl) to the left of him. He can never just say anything out loud without shielding his voice when out in public. He is home right now and I hear him non stop talking to his brother in his room, no hesitation at all, but the minute we step outside of the house, it is a completely different story.

MnMommy2
05-09-2012, 02:14 AM
so this has not gotten any better, I've tried to encourage Morgan to talk more in school and share during circle time. i talked with his teacher and she said she can see he is trying but it is so darn hard for him. He will only talk at home. We saw a very close relative at a restaurant and he refused to talk to her, wouldn't even look at her and he has known her since the day he was born. We have our appointment this Thursday at the Mental Health Center, just in time too since my son freaked me out the other day telling me that he believes in Angels and sometimes sees them! ??? hmmm....

I have very few hours of free time during the week for this entire month (lots of end of school year activities/scouts stuff). I am going to try to play catch up when I can and upload the rest of my CT pages. I can't wait until school is out, less than a month away. I think I am more nervous for my sons appointment then he is, but he probably won't even talk to them. I need to do some relaxation techniques, lol.

Ambelleina
05-09-2012, 02:48 AM
Angels are not a bad thing to believe in. :)

He may have an emotional disorder that makes it hard for him to talk to people outside his home. Or maybe that is just the personality he is developing! I actually find it easier to talk to strangers than I do my own family and people I know well. I do have a couple mental issues and one of them greatly effects my ability to talk when I am upset or bothered. I am usually a very talkative person, but when something is 'wrong,' I just shut down and it's like I can't open my mouth, even though my mind is reeling.

Hopefully he will feel comfortable with the psychologist/counselor and be able to talk some. Much love to you! <3

photom
05-09-2012, 03:58 AM
Good luck. Kids are hard enough, but having something like this to worry about, is really hard to get past. :bighug:

nutsaboutgabe
05-10-2012, 06:43 PM
still thinking about your son. hope you are all coping ok.

MnMommy2
05-13-2012, 06:11 AM
Ditto.
I've taught children with selective mutism during my teaching career. Their can be a variety of reasons it occurs.
I would strongly suggest meeting with the administration prior to the end of the school and suggest careful placement for your son for next year. They would need to consider the teacher, as well as the combination of the children in the class. He needs the nuturing in the classroom. Hopefully the summer break will will be a healing one.
m

Yes, I most certainly plan to do that... Our current principal is leaving (retiring) after this year and it is uncertain who and when our new replacement principal will be, but I plan on having that convo with his current teacher.

MnMommy2
05-13-2012, 06:12 AM
UPDATE!!!

The appointment went well on last Thursday. I was in the room with him and he did talk to the woman counselor several times, each time his voice was getting a little louder in volume, which I was very surprised. He doesn't talk to strangers and heck, he has been in 1st grade all year and doesn't talk to teachers he's known or his own teacher. He is going to see a therapist weekly for now, I don't think I will be in the therapy room for now on unless Morgan or the therapist wants me in there. So I guess I'll have waiting room time, better bring a book or play with my phone. He opened up on some things, the therapist asked him if he wanted to hurt himself or thought about dying and he answered no to that thank goodness. He was hesitant but she was doing the play therapy with him to get him to talk, asking him about what he can build with Legos and he showed off that he had built about 3 inch high numbers, he went 1 through 10 and was quite proud of his constructing. He seemed to really connect with her, so she's a keeper. When we are out and about at grocery stores or restaurants I am encouraging him to talk and say hello or order his food. He does and it is still at a low whisper, but baby steps I guess.
He goes next time to see the therapist at 8am next Friday. He was a chatterbox after the initial meeting and told me he likes her and that he was nervous at first and then he wasn't so nervous anymore. He asked me if he can bring in his Nintendo DS Scribblenauts game and show it to her. She knows he is a great artist so I think next session, they are going to do some artwork and 'talk'.

The therapist asked my son about the angels he was talking about and he told her he sees them everywhere. She asked like where do you see them and he had started to get emotional so she didn't pressure him and she said, that's ok, we can talk about that next time and he nodded in agreement.

StarWarsFans
05-13-2012, 02:39 PM
I'm so glad he likes his therapist. That makes all the difference in the world. My daughter saw a therapist for awhile and was making huge strides and looked forward to her session each week. Then the therapist retired. Cindy didn't like the new therapist AT ALL. She acted out during sessions and we finally just had to quit. So it is beyond AWESOME that he already shows a willingness to open up to this woman. I hope this is really going to help him!

photom
05-14-2012, 10:16 PM
Yes, it is all about finding the right one. I'm so glad that he opened up! Keep us posted on how he does this year. Since he was having problems in school with that teacher, I'm thinking that maybe it might just be something the teacher had said. I'm just remembering the time that I.DID.NOT want to go to preschool. I remember my Mom talking to the teacher and laughing with her- I was so upset that my MOM BETRAYED ME! Years later, I heard the story, and I did just have to laugh myself. The teacher told us she was going to whip us into shape- so I didn't want to go and get turned into a triangle!

Anyway, the most important thing is that he feels safe.