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My 5yrs DD does no talk in school

(11 Posts)
Denmark Fri 27-Feb-09 10:54:55

Would like some advise on this subject.
My DD is 5 yrs and goes to school (maternelle in france) on her second year.
I am danish and her father is french. She is speaking 99% french and few english words get mixed up a few times. We are speaking french and english as a family, since she and her younger brother is born in England.
She understands perfectly french, her grandparents are only speaking french with her and there are not problems at all.
But in school she refuses to talk, she says thank you, yes and no but thats it. Her teacher cant even get a goood morning or good bye. She have had 4 session where it was only her ad the teacher, to "open up" and she started to talk, they were playing games etc and my DD and her teachers was very happy. But she does not move on, she talk at little with her classmates and she does have a lot of friends in school and is not playing on her own.
She is very happy to go to school, she loves it, think her teacheris great, she understands everything, is writting really well, counting and doing all the task the teachers ask her to do - but no talking.
So now her teacher wants her to see at psychologist to find out want is "wrong with her". I am open to everything but would really like to avoid this because I think that really makes it sounds like she is "sick". She is talking constantly in the house, happy, very clever and if we get friends for visit she is jumping all over them, talking, playing etc.
Just want to know if anyone has been in a similair situation and what You have done to solve the problem ??????

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Fri 27-Feb-09 10:57:24

Maybe she is not confident with her english? Perhaps you and her father could speak mainly english at home?

Seeing a pyschologis won't hurt though.

edam Fri 27-Feb-09 11:00:05

I think seeing a psychologist may help, if only to suggest some strategies to help dd. Don't see it as a criticism, it could be something very positive.

Is dd able to explain why she doesn't want to talk? Could you try some role play with her dolls, or get her to draw pictures about school?

Denmark Fri 27-Feb-09 11:00:15

were are living in france so french is the amin language for her, but we do speak englih as well .

Denmark Fri 27-Feb-09 11:04:09

I have talked to her about why she does not talk in school she allways say " it's like that or I don't now".
I did "roleplay" ask her "dora" about school etc but still the same answer.
She is always making "happy" drawing. The family with a big smile, houses, flowers, rainbow etc. At th moment she prefers to write names and letter/numbers. She is writting the sames of her friends in school, the teachers etc. So for me she seems really happy about school. If I ask to much about the "talking issue" she gets mad.

GrinnyPig Fri 27-Feb-09 11:21:05

Dd1 was a bit like this. We are British and they go to school here so no language problems, but DD was very late in speaking (over 2 before she said anything).

She was very quiet and shy at school and although she interacted with a small group of friends she rarely spoke to adults and would sometimes just pretend they weren't there if she didn't want to speak. I spent a lot of time worrying about her and worrying what to do. We found out a little bit about selective mutism and she did appear to have many of the signs. In the end we did nothing because we knew she could speak. She was doing well at school. Was and still is in top sets and she works very hard in school. She was a happy child, but just a bit different from her peers.

She is now 15 and has gained confidence over the years and although her school reports still describe her as a 'quiet member of the class' I have stopped worrying about her. She has done some voluntary work, she goes to martial arts classes with both adults and children, she has found a work experience placement (which will need her to communicate clearly with adults and children).

I don't know what to suggest to you because you know your child best, but just wanted to share our experience.

usernametaken Fri 27-Feb-09 11:29:53

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_mutism

DD has just been diagnosed with this, we are awaiting on the report to find out what to do next, so I cant offer you nay advice yet. DD had a battery of testing- her receptive languge, her spoken language (assessed with me in the room and the psych eavesdropping out the room) etc.
Seeing the psych was the best thing we could have done as we can now help her overcome the non-talking issue.

Denmark Fri 27-Feb-09 11:55:59

Thank you very much for you advise/experience I think I do feel more relaxed about seeing someone to get an answer to the "non talking issue".

Corriewatcher Fri 27-Feb-09 14:39:08

My DD is now in Year 1 (aged 6) but when she started in reception she wouldn't speak to her teachers for the first 1.5 terms. In fact, she hardly spoke to the children either.
She had been to a different nursery from most of the children in the school and there was no-one in her class she knew. She is also naturally reserved in a new situation, but you wouldn't know that if you saw her at home - she never stops talking!!

I don't know if this is exactly the same situation as yours, but what I did was concentrate on getting her to know the other children first by inviting lots round to play. Gradually she made friends and started to talk to the children at least. Then I quite frankly bribed her to talk to the teachers!! For instance, I offered her a "Puppy in your pocket" toy (a cheap bit of tat little girls in the UK love) if she would answer the register. Once she did that once or twice, she realised nothing bad happened and just started doing it naturally. Then I encouraged her to put up her hand in class once. She did this, and again realised it wasn't so bad. After that, she just started talking a little to the teacher.

Strangely, she went straight into Year one with no problems at all. She talks to the teachers all the time and is very happy at school. Hope this helps somewhat. For what it's worth, I don't think it's that rare. When I was 6 my family moved to a different part of the UK and I went to a new school - I clearly remember not speaking to the teachers for ages - it just felt so awkward. But once I'd made friends and felt more at ease, I did come out of myself.

piscesmoon Sat 28-Feb-09 08:14:41

I wouldn't worry about it. I didn't talk much at school at that age. The teacher asked if I talked at home-I never stopped at home! The best thing is to let her take her own time and not draw attention to it. I felt comfortable with adults that just talked to me in a normal way and didn't pressurise me to respond. I hated the feeling that they were trying to force me to speak.

piscesmoon Sat 28-Feb-09 09:23:24

I have re read your post and you seem to have a lovely DD who is articulate when she wants to be and is sociable and has friends. She is very young-if she was a plant you would give her plenty of tender loving care-you wouldn't dig her up at the roots to see why she wasn't growing!
If she wouldn't talk or play with anyone and was generally miserable then there would be cause for concern.

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