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Does anyone have a Statement for a child with Selective Mutism?

(4 Posts)
IslandGirl43 Mon 24-Feb-14 07:26:28

Hi, our daughter aged 8 has selective mutism since starting school. As we have seen no real improvement and no structured help from the school we are thinking of applying ourselves for a statement of special educational needs. School have always said they would not request a statutory assessment as she is doing OK academically. I thought that statements also covered support for other areas of difficulty not just academic. Therefore a statement may help to ensure support with communication.

However I am actually unsure what could actually be part of a statement for a problem such as selective mutism. Does anyone here have an SM child and a statement? Would they be prepared to share with me some of the things that have been put into the statement?

pannetone Mon 24-Feb-14 10:35:37

My DD (9 tomorrow) has SM and we are in the process of appealing refusal to assess - we made the request ourselves. As with your DD we saw no real improvement since diagnosis at pre school, despite SALT input and small group work in school. What support does your DD get?

DD does also have an ASD diagnosis - we got that last year. Although DD didn't 'fit' the diagnostic criteria exactly, ( which may have partly been because of the difficulties of diagnosing a SM child) the paediatrician felt she should be given a diagnosis as she felt that ASD social and communication difficulties were 'driving' the SM. (Up til then I'd always thought it was the SM that gave DD social and communication difficulties)

You are correct that a statement is not just for academic difficulties - it can be for social and communication issues - which DD certainly has. Also DD has huge amounts of anxiety - when we put in for the statement last November DD was reluctant to attend school. Since mid Jan DD's anxiety levels have become so high that she is now not attending school sad.

wasuup3000 Mon 24-Feb-14 10:41:00

Yes but my child also has ASD and some difficulties with learning.

IslandGirl43 Wed 26-Feb-14 21:13:13

Hi Pannetone, thanks for your reply. Sounds like we are pretty much in the same situation. We have just today sent off the letter to LEA requesting statutory assessment and are expecting, as has happened to you, that assessment will be refused.

Our daughter does not get any specific report - SALT are still involved but don't work with her, they attend any meetings at the school and give advice. She had been referred to CAMHS by paediatrician but they also did not want to work her but saw me and gave anxiety advice which hasn't helped. Now they want to discharge her. This year (Year 4) is the first year school have really started to try to help but they don't really know what to do. Most of what we do at school is what I have instigated myself through the Selective Mutism Resource Manual. If you don't have this book I'd recommend it. Overall there seems to be a lack of understanding of SM and adding ASD to the mix seems to make things more complicated as to the causes/treatments and who should be responsible for treatment. We just seem to go round in circles.

Hoping assessment/statement if we could get it would give clearer direction to school for what could be done.

I agree with what you say about SM causing the social and communication difficulties, that is what we thought too but just like you we have recently been told that ASD could be the root of the anxiety then leading onto SM - its a bit chicken and egg isn't it!

Good luck with your appeal - I would be interested to hear how you get on.

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