Almost 3 year old very shy or something more?

(5 Posts)
CathyCy Sat 23-Apr-16 18:28:41

I have just been to "parents evening" at my little girl's nursery and they told me that she doesn't speak at all - not a word to staff or children. She's three next month. When we see friends or anyone outside immediate family she doesn't say anything I.e. doesn't even respond to direct questions like "do you want a drink?" I'm really upset by this and not sure what to do. I've started a sticker chart for saying goodbye and giving high fives and I'm thinking of calling the health visitor. My partner thinks I'm overreacting.

MattDillonsPants Sun 24-Apr-16 04:05:08

flowers I have been through this too OP. It sounds like your DD has selective mutism.

That's an anxiety disorder where children who CAN speak physically, cannot speak in social situations due to their anxiety.

It's very hard to see...when you know your child can talk and isn't...my DD grew out of it before I even knew the name of it.

She'd gone to a private nursery attached to a very old fashioned private (tiny) prep school where they didn't really ever call any outside experts in in cases like hers....I realised when she was older that she'd been selectively mute...and had she gone to a state nursery and school, it would have been flagged and treated.

She changed schools aged 7 for reasons unassociated with the mutism and it went...gradually over the first two terms thanks mainly to a very dedicated teacher who worked with her and helped her.

You should definitely speak to your HEalth VIsitor and if you find she isn't hepful and doesn't put a plan in place, then speak to your doctor...DD doesn't have to go along with you.

www.nhs.uk/conditions/selective-mutism/pages/introduction.aspx

CathyCy Sun 24-Apr-16 18:22:38

Thank you so much for this I had wondered about selective mutism.Do you know what professionals would usually be involved e.g . Would it be speech and language therapy?

MattDillonsPants Sun 24-Apr-16 18:39:54

I'm not sure but I have read that in some cases, therapy isn't seen as necassary because a lot of children...like my DD...will grow out of it...other might have something called cognitive behaviour therapy which for children, is presented as a fun learning experience.

Here's a link about CBT for children who are selectively mute..it's American but I think it's pretty similar in the UK

www.selectivemutism.org/faq/faqs/how-is-sm-treated

The first thing they list is what you've basically been doing already with positive reinforcement for any talking...(nothing like a parent's genius eh!) other parts of it seem to involve learning to make mouth sounds such as whispering and being rewarded for it by the therapist....

It will all be done in a fun way...I was present for my friend's son's evaluation for ASD and he had no idea he was being "tested" at all....

if your DD needed treatment, she wouldn't know it was treatment...they're very careful.

With my DD I did as you do....I never got cross or made her feel bad for not speaking...I just gently encouraged. When she was in tricky situations...such as we'd be out at the shops and someone might be friendly and ask her a question...she'd just stare at them....and I'd say "I don't think she's in a talking mood today" and laugh it off...change the subject. I tried to avoid answering for her though as I didn't want her to get reliant on me.

Sometimes, I could, if I felt it was the right situation, get her to just nod or shake her head by asking the person's question to her directly...so they'd say "Oh that's a lovely bear! What's his name?"

And I'd give her the chance to answer..which she didn't....then I'd say "It's not a secret is it DD? Shall we tell?" and she'd nod...and then I could answer for her.

It's hard but it does go OP...especially with parents who are informed and onto it. DD is 11 now and recently seems to have absolutely blossomed. She had friends all through primary...all quiet and nice kids...but now she's older, she's got more of a mix of mates and she speaks just like they do.x

CathyCy Sun 24-Apr-16 21:11:14

Thanks for taking the time to reply, really helpful

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now