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How can you tell if it's selective mutism as opposed to shyness?

(5 Posts)

Flojo- exactly that! She will sometimes randomly say hello to a stranger we pass on the street or a shop assistant then refuse to speak to me or close family hmm

FlojoHoHoHo Thu 27-Dec-12 18:22:45

My DD was 4 last month and can be just like this, not so much with me all day but certainly with me when I ask her a question. She rarely speaks to anyone else and then surprise me by saying hello to the check out person at Tesco etc.

BeeBawBabbity Thu 27-Dec-12 18:17:33

My youngest took ages to find the courage to speak to her teachers or other non- family adults when she was that age. I did wonder about selective mutism myself. But the teachers had seen it all before, and eventually her confidence grew. She's still a very shy kid, but she's 8 now and and she went up and bought her notepad today on her own in a shop, and spoke to the assistant. I was really pleased! Hopefully yours will grow out of it too.

Elibean Thu 27-Dec-12 16:49:36

4 year old dds, in my experience, are very selective.

I wouldn't worry, tbh. The worst part is probably everybody else's reaction - but 4 year olds are learning what they can and can't control: choosing to speak is one thing they can control, so they do!

I would also think the less attention you give the behaviour, the less time it will last. At least, that would hold true with my two dds when they were 4 (and older!) smile

Dd2 aged 4.3 is very eloquent & has a great vocabulary.

There are days when you can't shut her up.

However there are days when she doesn't speak at all or says one or two words.

People speak to her & she won't reply. This can be family or friends or me or people she knows very well or not well at all.

At the end of term at the school fair she did it to her teacher and I asked if she thought I should be worried & she replied 'no as it's selective'

Got me to thinking due to the wording the teacher used & I'm getting fed up with people telling me over & over how she didn't speak to them & didn't answer & even though I explain it's nothing personal & she even acts that way with me it doesn't seem to make a difference..

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