5 year old with possible selective mutism(6 Posts)
Hi all, I am looking for a some advice. My child is 5 and it has recently dawned on me that he might have selective mutism. He is in reception and has not really spoken to the staff at his school although he does speak to some of the children and will read aloud with a teacher when asked. He does not speak to any other adults outside of the immediate family. His teacher referred him for SLT a couple of weeks ago and we have also met with a private SLT who specializes in SM. He seems to fit all the criteria for a diagnosis. The school will be offering some 1:1 support for small group work and if he needs any help in the classroom.
Is there anyone with similar experience? Do I need to have something formal in place in terms of an EHCP? He does well in school in terms of academics in any area that does not require speaking, but I worry how things are going to progress in Y1 and beyond if he continues not to speak. Any advice is welcome.
I don't have direct experience of selective mutism but two of my friends have children who had a phase of it at pre-school.
Both children are bilingual French-English, which partially explains it.
It was solved fairly quickly once SALT was involved. One of them had a session with CAMHS to discuss anxiety which could have been a factor then.
I would definitely stick to the private SALT, as my experience of NHS SALTs hasn't been brilliant for my son who has dyspraxia.
I don't an EHCP plan should be necessary.
Anyway, this is second-hand experience but I hope it helps a bit!
I've worked with several children who have selective mutism pre-school. It is usually something they grow out of over time. The only one I've worked with who was older had some considerable trauma in her young life and it was always presumed it was closely linked with that, and the approach was very different.
None of them have ever had, or been anywhere near the criteria for an EHCP, and none of them would have done something such as reading to the teacher when asked. We've done a lot of work around assessing learning without the dc speaking, but nowhere near levels for an EHCP.
Ask ur HV or doctor for speech and language referral, I used PECS for my son which is a picture exchange book with Velcro backs, he takes this everywhere and can use pictures to ask for what he wants, I print g and laminate them for his needs, and use an I want pic to begin with, so if he feels shy or doesn't want to speak he can use a picture for drink? Example, I can send u images if u need them to help
I would recommend joining the SMIRA group on Facebook, if you're on it.
Hello, sounds like a stressful situation for you all! The research is quite clear on what children with SM need (this isn’t the case for most difficulties). Early intervention is key - the longer it goes on, the more difficult it is to shift. Children usually need an intervention called ‘Sliding In’. The SLT should be able to direct the school on how to carry this out. It needs to happen in school because this is where the difficulty is. The ‘Selective Mutism Resource Manual’ by Maggie Johnson tells you everything you need to know. 1:1 or small group might help to some extent, but it can also mask the problem if it doesn’t help him feel less anxious about speaking in the long term. Hope that helps!
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