My daughter is 2.9 years old. She has started nursery/playgroup from this year. She does not talk to ANYONE in school. [Don’t talk to the teacher, other kids, care takers in school (called Mavashis). She also doesn’t talk to her Auto Driver (called kaka) or any other kids in her auto.]
When she is at home, she talks a lot, sings, and is very talented in everything. In short she is loud and talkative at home just like other kids. She also talks a lot with our relatives.
Her teacher and school principal called us last week and told that they have NOT yet heard her voice in school. i.e from start of school, last more than two months.
I was googling on net and have come to conclusion (after reading lot of information on net) that it’s selective mutism. (I have not yet consulted any specialist, planning to do it in next few days to take their opinion. School has also suggested the same)
1. Has any parent faced Selective Mutism with their kids?
2. Does anyone know any ‘Selective Mutism’ specialist in Pune (social anxiety disorder expert)
3. Has anyone faced similar problem with their kids? If yes, what solutions you tried?
I know that there is very less awareness about Selective Mutism in world and especially in India. However Any information you can provide me would be greatly appreciated.".
I feel it will not be fair to jump to any conclusion...She is too small..pls give her some time..U have mentioned that she is talkitive at home...take her teachers assistance...ask her to involve the child with other kids in an affectionate way...Such kids require assurance..and help..
Selective mutism is a big term and I dont think it will be fair to tag her that way...Dont google for anything much bcos internet is big source of anxiety in parents...I think she needs some time and lots of encouragement in a positive way........Since u have mentioned that she cummunicates at home and also with ur relatives,I think she is perfectly fine..........the teacher and the moushi available at school will be able to help u out.............
My child is 6.4 years old.Still he doesn't talk with teachers.Every teacher says he don't talk & remain quite.This statement now don't make me now much worried.I'm working on his strong points.I'm trying to make him communicative for his needs.From the age of around 3 years i'm putting efforts to improve his personality.First of all you should accept if she is quite in nature.2.9 years is very small age to arrive on any conclusion.Everything is new for her,give her time.This happened with us also.Some of us make friends very fast.Some take time to make friends.I'm sure your daughter will be good observer.
It is a good idea to monitor your child's social behavior. I will caution you though-your child is quite young-too young to go in for a complicated diagnosis like selective mutism.
Have you talked to the teacher about her routine and how they help her cope with anxiety?
The first step is always to modify the environment...what does the teacher do to help her transition into the class?
Does the teacher greet her as soon as she enters class?
Does she play with other children even if she doesn't talk to them?
Does she relate to one other student at least?
Does she take a familiar toy/book or any other object to school?
How do you prepare her for the school day? Do you talk about school and discuss at least one activity that she may engage in at school?
When you discuss her school day how does she respond? Does she sound enthusiastic or does she sound nervous?
When she goes to school, is there a familiar and slightly older child who rides in the same auto?
I will add the suggestions after I hear back:)
I fully agree with you that she is too small. We need to give her some time. I understand it and fully agree with you.
After getting some information on net I met school principal (after 2 days of our first meeting) and requested her to help us to apply few simple techniques in school with the help of her teacher, few kids in her class and Mavshi. School is ready to help usbut they asked us to FIRST visit doctor and then school will help us as suggested/guided by doctor ONLY. So finally I requested principal to give us some time to try few techniques at home. Principal agreed to wait for 2 weeks. But she said, if there is no improvement in next 2 weeks then we must visit doctor and give them report/feedback/opinion of doctor.
So currently we are applying few techniques at home and outside (going slowly and playful way…don’t want apply too much in short time and overburden her). Also we take her to one of her classmate’s home and let them to play together. She plays with her but not yet started talking with her.
mizzs, I am monitoring her social behaviour. My few observations are, Sometimes when new persons are around us (and especially in school) then she stops talking to us (me/her mom) also. But she starts talking/laughing…and all that normal fun with us as soon as we go away from them. And she avoids eye contact with her teacher and new persons.
Please see below answers to your questions and let me know if you have any suggestion.
1. Have you talked to the teacher about her routine and how they help her cope with anxiety? – So far her teacher has told us that she remains silent all the time, no expression, no whispering, no nodding…etc.
2. Does she relate to one other student at least? –Teacher said no.
3. Does she take a familiar toy/book or any other object to school? – All her books are kept in school only (except weekends). She only carries tiffin box, water bottle and small hand book.
4. How do you prepare her for the school day? Do you talk about school and discuss at least one activity that she may engage in at school? - She very happily gets ready to go to school…no complains…in fact, most of the days she waits for her auto to come and pick her. She eats her tiffin in school. Whatever songs, dance…etc is taught in school she keeps singing/dancing most of the time at home. If there is any notice given in her hand book then she herself opens handbook and shows it to us without fail.
5. When you discuss her school day how does she respond? Does she sound enthusiastic or does she sound nervous? -- If we specifically ask her anything about school day, teacher, friends …etc then she changes her expression and doesn’t talk much about it…yes, she sound bit nervous.
6. When she goes to school, is there a familiar and slightly older child who rides in the same auto? – All of them are new to each other. One of them is in her class. As I have mentioned above now days we go to her home and allow them to play together so that at least both of them will become familiar. And yes, there are two slightly older child are in same auto.
I will try to get answers of your remaining questions whenever I will meet her teacher.
Your daughter is very young. Shez still a baby. However you are taking all the necessary steps to help her. Thats great. Just a suggestion, why not take her to a professional ?
It might help if you take her to CGC ( child guidance center) at deccan - Prabhat Road. They might be able to provide useful insights.
aaah..sorry I wrote my reply but never posted:( Things got a bit hectic. It is a bit looooong. hope it isn't too confusing:)
Here are some suggestions...
The key to making any child comfortable with transitioning to school is to make the home school connection stronger. This is even more important for a child with any level of social anxiety.
Talk to the teacher before hand so she understands what it is that you are trying to establish and responds accordingly in the following measures. Most children start identifying with the classroom as days go by. Your daughter needs that extra push to understand that she too is part of that community. This push has to come from the teacher (as she is the adult in charge) but you can give your child certain props to facilitate the connection.
have more to add but will wait to hear if this makes sense to you...
I will second rad1234, get a professional help.
you can see Dr archana kadam .
Thank you so much mizzs. These are really very good suggestions. I will definitely try these.
We met her teacher on Friday. Her teacher told us that she spoke in school two times.
1. Once she said “My I come in?” to her teacher (which we tell/teach her at home in friendly and playful manner).
2. And once she spoke with Mavshi in our mother tongue.
Teacher also told us that now days she opens up her mouth and try speak (very very slow voice which they cannot hear)
About the answers of your remaining questions-
Does the teacher greet her as soon as she enters class? – Teacher asks her to wait near door and say “May I come in …?” before entering in class. (Waits for some time, 1-2 mins for her to say something) …if no words ….then she takes her in the class. She does same for other kids as well.
Does she play with other children even if she doesn't talk to them? – No.
I will continue whatever techniques I am trying at home and will also add your suggestions.
Thanks once again for your excellent suggestions. And please add more suggestions. Your suggestions are very detail, practical and they really make sense.
You are welcome.
I had another question…do you think the hesitation to participate could be due to language issues?
Glad to know that your daughter has started to interact in class. It sounds like the teacher is able to adapt to her needs. May I make a suggestion?
You can keep adding pages with very specific details-always relate what you do at work with what she does at school-it gives her a context.
Thank you mizzs.
I do not think the hesitation to participate is because of language issues.
1. She understands most the thinks we talk with her in English at home.
2. Mavshis in her school talk with her in our mother tongue (most of the time).
So I do not think it’s because of language issue.
Your new suggestions are also very good. I have planned to visit her school tomorrow. I will discuss all these points with her teacher and request her for additional help to implement these suggestions.
I agree with your last point. School has suggested us one hospital in Pune city which has separate department for Child Development and other issues of children. School wants us to visit that hospital and submit their report. School Principal was not ready to meet us without report from that hospital. As mentioned earlier, school is ready to help us but they first want opinion/report of specialist. So I am going to visit that hospital on Friday. I will keep you guys updated.
mizzs, thank you once again for your suggestion.
We visited hospital on Friday. Doctor took couple of tests of our daughter (in short, doctor asked her to do certain activities/task and checked if she can understand instructions, is she able to do given activity and is she able to it within certain time, her observation ability …etc.) Our daughter didn't speak much with doctor but she completed almost all activities very well. She also completed few activities which doctor usually gives to kids older than her (3-5 years) Doctor will give us final report by end of this week. Hopefully by Thursday. Overall, (from my understanding point of view) everything was quite +ve. Waiting for final report/opinion of expert.
My daughter is 3 years and 2 months old, I had a parent teacher meeting at her school yesterday and I got quite similar kind of feedback as you have described for your daughter. As such they have not made any issue out of the same but I want to address this before it becomes really big. I went through the complete thread and I am curious to know, what is the outcome of your final report? I hope its all positive and is your daughter showing more progress at school? Please let me know.
Best Regards and all the best!!
My son also faced the same issue when he was in Playgroup (now he is 8 years old). Infact he went crying to school for almost the entire year. He would sit in a corner in his class and not intereact with anyone. However the teacher and the staff played a very crucial role. I remember the mavshi or the teacher would make him sit in their lap for the entire duration of the class to make him comfortable and involved. Eventually he started interacting with one or 2 children and would only want to be with them and did not like to be in a group setting. But he always completed his activities and was one of the brightest child
He was so till class LKG. Then when he went to STD 1st I started gettting complaints from the teacher that he keeps talking in the class continuously and is very talkative. I was actually very happy to get this complaint :). I keep getting this even now. Today he has loads of friends and a very happy child.
But then again if is he is in a new setting among new people he takes a long time to adjust and wont speak.
Every child is different. Some children are shy and take time to adjust. I am sure the same is the case with you. Give her some time, she will he fine.
May be the teacher is putting your daughter in the spot (by saying say MAY I COME IN before entering). Right from the time of entering the stress is built up, which for a shy child can be very difficult. I suggest try changing the school and put her in a school which is more child friendly and wherein teachers and staff are more friendly and approachable. I was lucky to get such a playschool for my child.
All the best. I hope the results from the doctors have been favourable but at the same time make sure you do not make your child to go through some unnecessary therapies and treatment. Go with your instinct!
Sorry for the delay guys.
In final report doctor has mentioned that her IQ category is â€œBright Intelligenceâ€ (above Normal Intelligence) and there is no other issue. In recommendations she has suggested counselling to us (parents) and also has suggested school to give special attention at our daughter.
We showed final report to school principal. She asked us to visit school appointed psychologists who takes care of guiding their teachers and parents to handle such issues. Principalâ€™s approach was quite +ve and she was willing to help to resolve problem as soon as possible.
We then took appointment of schoolâ€™s own psychologists and meet her. She asked few questions to us. We answered all questions honestly. She said everything looks ok to her from parents point of view (as she talks well at home, with relatives, others in our society and report is also very +ve). She told us that she will guide our daughterâ€™s class teacher. As problem exists mainly in school environment so counselling to her teachers is required.
She told us, as of now no action is required from us (parents). She will do counselling to teacher and then we will see outcome after about one month.
My wife is going to visit school tomorrow. She will try to get few latest updates.
Meanwhile her auto driver (kaka) told us one good news: our daughter has started talking in auto.
To conclude, everything is going so good so far. I am sure within few days/months I will get complaint like Samd7â€¦. teachers will say that she keeps talking in the class continuously and is very talkative. :) Waiting for it :)
Sorry for the delay. And thanks you guys for your support. I really like suggestions of mizzs.
I will keep you updated.
Today class teacher told my wife that our daughter has started talking in school/class little bit. Really good news !!! She will improve slowly.
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