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Selective Mute

(2 Posts)
2flowerpots Sun 12-Jun-16 07:31:42


My eldest is a selective mute and wouldn't talk to anyone until he was three and a half, and even now at the age of 8 is a reluctant talker at times. Those times are with people that he doesn't see regularly, or in social situations (we still need to stay with him at parties sometimes).

So recently as many children have had, my son had sports day. My husband and I couldn't make it due to work commitments so we asked my in laws if they would go. I appreciate that grandparents aren't just child care providers so it was great that they would go along and support my child. I had explained why my husband and I couldn't go and he knew his grandparents would be there instead.

Now my son's school is very large so factoring in all the children and parents there would be maybe as many as 1000 people attending this event. Unfortunately my son didn't behave like an ordinary child, he went into full on selective mute mode and closed down, wouldn't make eye contact, wouldn't talk to them, wouldn't answer questions.

I know this is rude, but it is also not something that selective mutes can control easily. Yes I should have been there, but it wasn't a choice. We challenge his boundaries using small steps and encourage him, we don't tolerate deliberate rudeness.

I rang my in laws during my break to speak to my son and had no answer, I rand them twice afterwards to check that it had all been ok. They later rang my husband and spoke to him about our child's odd behaviour. I appreciate that he didn't behave in the way a grandparent would want.

He is a lovely, smart, kind child who happens to be painfully shy. In Reception he didn't make expected as he was so quiet, and now he is still quiet but is improving slowly with his shyness he is on the gifted and talented register.

It breaks my heart that others will label him as being rude, ignorant or bad mannered. We are all different and some of us just need a little time develop strategies to help us through life.

VioletBam Sun 12-Jun-16 15:13:38

Take NO notice of them. My DD was selectively mute until around...well if I'm honest until now!

She's 11 and by 10 she had improved a lot but it's taken till this year for her to manage to actually relax and let the anxiety go and speak out.

I know first hand the stress of it...but my DDs grandmother was terribly patient and protective of her and THAT is what a grandparent should be.

Do your inlaws know he's SM? Or do they just think he's shy?

What help are you receiving?

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