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Selective mutism?

(24 Posts)
wevecomeonholidaybymistake Fri 17-Feb-17 18:41:35

DS has AS. He's very chatty with us, well he talks at us about his interests and asks constant questions.
He rarely speaks to people he doesn't know or doesn't know well. He won't speak in front of the class but chats to his friends quite happily.
He had a supply teacher he'd never seen before and wouldn't answer his name at registration and he only speaks to the teachers if they ask him a question in the lesson.
I've witnessed him totally ignoring the senco in meetings, even when asked questions he just nodded his head. Everyday she says good morning to him and he ignores her.
Is this selective mutism? My FIL thinks it's rudeness but I disagree.

Rubyslippers7780 Fri 17-Feb-17 18:42:58

Is he shy in general? With new people?

wevecomeonholidaybymistake Fri 17-Feb-17 18:46:04

He ignores new people. He has no interest in interacting with other children other than his handful of friends. If another child approaches him he just walks off.

Ineedmorepatience Fri 17-Feb-17 19:00:20

Dd3 was diagnosed with SM last week. The Speech and language therapist asked her if she is able to tell people that she is unwell or hurt or needs help. She isnt and never has been. She was able to be honest with the therapist and along with some other stuff that she had written about feeling like she has a barrier in between thinking what she wants to say and actually being able to say it there was enough evidence to diagnose her.

She is 14 and also has Asd and has been out of school for 18 months.

Rubyslippers7780 Fri 17-Feb-17 19:00:43

How old is he? Does he get lots of additional support in school? I wouldn't worry too much if he is verbal when he needs to be.. for example you say he will answer a direct question from a teacher he knows. I wouldn't think he was being consciously 'rude' or selectively mute... he may grow to be chattier if in a safe environment like school with new people...he obviously needs time to build up trust?

wevecomeonholidaybymistake Fri 17-Feb-17 19:16:42

He's 10. He has some things in place at school but they don't really help. He misses school some days as he's too anxious to go in.
If he hurts himself at break he won't tell anyone, he's come home with cuts and bruises and when I've asked why they weren't sorted he just says he didn't want to go to first aid or tell anyone.

Ineedmorepatience Fri 17-Feb-17 20:00:49

Personally, I think if he is struggling now in primary, things could get a whole lot worse in secondary.

When they are moving around from class to class soetimes they will only see some teachers for an hour a week or even a fortnight if the school runs a two week timetable! Kids who are struggling to build relationships with staff can flounder and things can go wrong.

Can you self refer to Speech and language in your area, in my area the NHS salts wont diagnose SM, they kept telling us we needed a clinical psych (and they are like gold dust), we went private in the end.

wevecomeonholidaybymistake Fri 17-Feb-17 20:19:27

I'm dreading secondary to be honest.
We're in the middle of 2 terms of a support plan so we can apply for an EHCP after Easter. I know he won't cope at secondary, he can barely cope now.
Will look into speech and language, am willing to go private if necessary.

zzzzz Fri 17-Feb-17 22:32:28

It can get (much) better, but you can apply for EHCP now. I'm not sure why they want you to wait.

rupert23 Fri 17-Feb-17 22:39:49

my son is 10 and exactly the same, many times he has hurt himself at school and not told anybody. He was badly bullied because he did not speak or tell anybody about it. i found out when he had a big meltdown and ripped his clothes off and into pieces in the headmasters office.my son has ASD aspergers social anxiety ,eating disorder and selective mutism, He has a couple of teachers at school now that he feels he can talk to and school will ring me if he seems upset. i am dreading senior school. He also had school refusals but seems ok at the moment. he is never good after half term though as his anxiety is on a high level. we cope day by day its not easy . i hope that you can get support . the ot was good and wrote a plan for us for the school to follow to ease his anxiety but some days he is more anxious than others not sure always of the triggers although i try to work it out

wevecomeonholidaybymistake Sat 18-Feb-17 08:43:53

zzzzz they say we need to have evidence of 2 terms of support not working or the LA will refuse to assess.
He has massive anxiety around school, we're waiting on camhs to do some support strategies with him.

Ineedmorepatience Sat 18-Feb-17 09:57:13

The legal test for whether a child should be assessed is

The child has or may have special educational needs
And/or
The child needs provision over and above that which is normally provided in schools (or words to that effect)

The 2 terms thing is local policy and that law always trumps policy.

Check out the IPSEA website for clear guidance.

Good luck flowers

zzzzz Sat 18-Feb-17 10:27:55

As Ineed says, it's really not necessary to waste 2/3 of a school year proving what is obvious.

Are you planning to apply yourself (I would) or let school do it?

It takes 25 weeks so if you start now you should be done by early August, but more likely mid/Sept, as they will find (the totally predictable and work-round-able) summer holiday conveniently insurmountable.
Don't wait to put in strategies though. SM and anxiety become routine if left to settle. What do you think would help? (I should add that in our case I suggested all the things that actually helped blush but I was at a superb primary and they embraced the process and changed outcomes)

wevecomeonholidaybymistake Sat 18-Feb-17 20:31:41

I think they'll apply after Easter, if not I definitely will.
I don't really know what else they can do tbh. He masks very well there.
He's allowed to work outside the classroom when needed and eat his lunch in a quiet room. They're looking into to getting him a special desk to block out other people/noise.
The trouble is he finds the whole environment very stressful. He "copes" as in he doesn't cause them any bother, but his refusal to attend is picking up.
He's very bright too which means the Ed Psych won't see him.

zzzzz Sat 18-Feb-17 20:39:59

Is he yr5 or 6?

If you really feel he won't cope at secondary MS, what options do you have locally?

There really isn't any rationale for not applying for EHCP now. Initially they have 6 weeks to decide if he is a candidate to be assessed. That would takeyou till after Easter anyway.

wevecomeonholidaybymistake Sat 18-Feb-17 21:04:58

He's Year 5.

There are no suitable special schools in our county. All require a child to have learning difficulties, which he doesn't.
There is a school in a neighbouring county which does GCSEs etc. One mainstream near us has a "nurture unit" that may help but it's a Catholic school and oversubscribed.

wevecomeonholidaybymistake Sat 18-Feb-17 21:06:20

I'm trying to keep school on side after a rocky few months. They're being very understanding about his attendance so I'm scared to rock the boat.

zzzzz Sat 18-Feb-17 21:29:07

What about local independents?

Have you been to the local MS and had a chat with the senco?

And to the catholic school?

Once his EHCP is in place the named state school will put him very high in any entry criteria (in fact unless the school refuses him it's pretty much a given.

We applied for EHCP in the summer term of y5. We were initially refused, reapplied and ds is now y7 secondary (SS). It was VERY tight timewise, so try to give it a gentle nudge forward. Be proactive and know where you would like him to go.

zzzzz Sat 18-Feb-17 21:30:39

Nb keeping on good terms with everyone is a perfectly reasonable and sometimes attainable way through. Ds's primary were like rocks, and I will always be grateful.

wevecomeonholidaybymistake Sat 18-Feb-17 21:57:10

I've not spoken to the secondary schools yet. Tbh I feel very lost with it all.

I'm not confident we'll get the EHCP but I'm willing to fight it.

Things were very rocky with the school but recently have improved so definitely trying to be nice and just the right amount of arsey!

zzzzz Sat 18-Feb-17 22:13:36

I'm never arsey (well I don't think so blush). I try not "fight" more just ask questions that are sometimes a little uncomfortable

There really isn't anything that difficult (beyond the obvious terror we all feel launching our dc into secondary). Get a list of all the local secondary's and phone them up and ask to talk to the senco. Talk to them about what they can do to support him. You'll get a feeling which one is best.

wevecomeonholidaybymistake Sat 18-Feb-17 22:32:31

Thanks for your help zzzz will get on with it after half term.

Blossom4538 Sun 19-Feb-17 13:44:19

Sounds just like my DD - almost 6. She has Selective Mutism which is an anxiety and often sensory related too. She is being assessed for ASD (poss aspergers traits).
Not rudeness. The SMIRA group on Facebook is good and recommend the SMRM (selective Mutism resource manual).

Blossom4538 Sun 19-Feb-17 13:44:47

Also, I believe SM can commonly co exist with Aspergers.

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