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Mild selective mutism? Where to turn next?(6 Posts)
My DS has just turned 9.
He was premmie baby he has had a lot of speech problems and therapy. Despite being pretty chatty at home and having a good group of friends, we have had feedback from school over the years that he is very uncomfortable speaking in class, freezes and sometimes looks like he might cry. Similarly when he is asked a direct question by an adult (even family members), he will freeze and look to me to fill in for him.
I thought it was shyness/lack of confidence resulting from developmental delays - and something he would grow out of. I'm increasingly thinking it is anxiety related/selective mutism and something he might need help with.
Does anyone have any advice on who to turn to for a diagnosis/advice? The SENCO at my school will take ages to get on to this and I'm keen to get coping mechanisms in place as soon as possible
Hi - my DD has selective mutism. It was picked up when she was at pre school. You will need to get a referral to a speech and language therapist - in my area they have a ‘drop in’ clinic where you can just turn up and DD was then put on their books - and was assessed and got a formal diagnosis before she started school.
DD has more general anxiety issues and we were later referred to CAMHS, but the specific SM support has come through SALT.
There is a selective mutism support group called SMIRA - they have a group on Facebook. (There is a website but I’m not sure if that’s updated)
I think you are definitely right to get your DS’s difficulties assessed - SM can look like shyness or delayed development but it is a distinct anxiety disorder which needs specific interventions.
Try Lucy Nathanson at www.confidentchildren.co.uk/.
I see she's also written a book - www.amazon.co.uk/Understanding-Selective-Mutism-Beginners-Guide/dp/1788087844?tag=mumsnetforum-21
Have a look here at a new resource on the SMIRA (Selective Mutism Information & Resource Association) website - it gives pathways for identification of and help for Selective Mutism:
Do you mind me asking if your little one has any other quirky behaviour, motor skill struggles or sensory struggles - Dislike of loud noises, texture of fabrics etc...
(Our DD has SM) - SALT and the Selective Mutism Resource Manual have been helpful. Also Fbook SMIRA Group :-)