"My daughter is 14 she too have not spoken at school. But I can see that
she wanted to speak this is fustrating not only to me but also to her.
"My daughter is 5 years old. In pre-kindergarten she never said a word to
her teacher all year. In kindergarten the same seemed to be happening,
after Christmas vacation the teacher developed a plan where every day my
daughter said a word to her she would get a sticker on a special sheet,
after 10 stickers she got a reward and a prize. Next she had to say a
sentence 10 times, lastly she had to say a sentence in front of the class.
School ended before she finished her last goal, but it REALLY helped her
open up. Now she's at summer day camp and has gone back into her shell
clinging to me and crying when I go to drop her off, I'm hoping things
will get better in grade 1.
"my daughter been this way since she was little i had her in head start
program at age 8 months old until she was 5 she never spoke to anyone
there no her being in school she wont say a word to kids or the teacher ,
at home she talks are ears off , but in school she wont speak at all
"I am a Children's Centre Worker.
I have worked with quite a few children like this and I would just like to
say to you that things turn out fine. They usually start to talk when they
are ready and then it is like a verbal explosion. But you must remember to
give them time and make them feel comfortable and relaxed.
"I wish my parents could have read this article when I was younger, then
maybe I wouldn't still be that awkward shy kid...
"My three year old daughter has this disorder. My daughter started
preschool this year and refuses to talk to her teachers. She talks alll
the time at home (non-stop). She also communicates well when she attends
her dance classes. I was shocked to learn at her first PTA that she does
not talk to her teachers. She will however talk to the other students in
her class. At least I know that there is a name for this now. I am praying
that she will grow out of this soon.
"my son is three he wont speak at all at nursery school ,only if i go in he
will speak to me he will be four in july and am so worried about him dont
know what to do or were to turn any help would be greatfully received
"My daughter is 3 and has been in preschool for 5months now. She had alway
been very shy. I thought school would bring her out of her schell. But
she is still not talking to her teachers only nods. She talks non stop at
home. She is a very bright independent girl, she even talked at a early
age. She has had two preschool screening test and she won't talk to give
answers, I know she know the answers and what to do. They want to send
her to Special Ed class becuase she didnt pass the screening. Reading
these post about Selective mutim, I think she may have this disorder.
But my question is that i feel she doesn't need special help with
learning, she just needs to come out of her schell. Would this benefit
her? Do kids with selective mutism need a special class?
"My daughter is 4 1/2 and has been going to preschool for two years. It is
time to register her for kindergarten, and her evaluation is awful because
she refuses to talk to her teachers. In fact, she rarely talks at school
at all-- even to her friends-- except in a whisper. At home, at friends'
houses, and in other situations she will talk (sometimes more than we
would like!!!)... but not at school. It is really frustrating to see sucha
poor evaluation of my child when I know she is able to complete the tasks
on their lists with ease. I mean, they couldn't even assess her on colors
and shapes, which she has known since she was like eighteen months old!
She has a phenomenal vocabulary, is very talented artistically, and is in
the letter-name stage as she should be with her reading/spelling skills. I
am going crazy because I am wondering where I have failed since she will
not speak to these teachers, and, worse, I am fearful that they will not
allow her to begin kindergarten. T!
his would be a terrible disservice as I know her skillset to be well
beyond what is needed for kindergarten... Please help!!!! What do you
advise? Thank you!
"my daughter rejoyce is 4 1/2 years old.shes in the preschool right now but
still dont talk to the teacher even whisper sound she dont want it..but
shes very brilliant girl and she talk alot with me and my family as
well.but around people she dont speak any words.she just stand and
listen.at all she dont want to talk.its almost 6 months in school but
still dont want to talk.what to do?the teacher sometimes their ignoring
her bec.she dont want to talk...im encourage her but still..im worrying
when she go to kinder garden...help thanks "
"Hello my child Curtis is 5 and dose not talk in school he wont look at
anyone when there talking to him he talks fine at home he has a 4 year old
brother they play and fight like any other kids there age lol but when hes
out and meets new people he wont talk to them at all not just school any
one he dosent know and sometimes even family members he dosnt see to
offten his school has been calling me telling me i have to get this fixed
im starting to feel like a bad mom i have tryed talking to him and leting
him know its ok to talk to the teachers i try reminding him to tell the
teachers and other kids the fun stuff he did on the weekend but still he
says nothing im going to make an apt with our family doctor and see if
theres something he could tell me something to try but im at a loss i dont
no what to do i love both my boys there my heart and soul and i feel like
im failing them any helpful hints would be great thank you so much
Jenny-Lynn Lavoie "
"Hi, i'm 12 and my parents have been presurring me to talk ever since one
of my teachers wrote that " im not being active" at school like talking or
raising my hand to answer a question. Im active at home all the time
though, i talk to my parents and my brothers like their my real friends
and i can share every secret. but when i go to school its like im a whole
different person. I even sound totally different. i try to avoid my
brothers so they wont ask why i talk like this but its so embarrissing. i
even started going on online chats so i can practice talking topeople. my
parents want me to start talking to boys and almost every boy avoids me
and never says aword. i dont like like anyone at my school,but im hurt
they wouldnt even want to sit by me just cuz i never say anything. i can
barely talk to any girls either, a few girls talk to me to be nice, but i
only have one friend. i think she feels sorry for me or something becuz
she was picked on at her old school. i go to a p!
rivate school so its really nice. i think i would makea lot of friends if
i acted like myself but im scared to idk y but i just cant. im not like
one of those omg girls or random people just a person i think. the reason
im telling u all of this person info is becuz this problem is getting
serious. when i first started school i would blab all the time. but i
slowly stopped in fourth grade. 4 boys even asked me out before 5th grade.
i think even my parents are getting tired of me and want my oldself back.
my parents are really strict so whenever i talk to them i have a weak
scared voice. my mom also has a nontalking problem too, but i dnt think
iwas born with it if i talked in earlier years so their might be help. i
really just want to talk and be loud at school like everybody else. i dont
even care if i get in trouble for blabbing i just feel like a left out
computer playing person. if you have any help furthermore than this advice
i wud really apprectiate it, i already figu!
red out the activity trick :) thanks so much "
"I'm nearly 13 and I have the same problem if a teacher asks me a question
in class I panic and feel like I'm about to cry :( "
"This is the most inappropriate place to put women in blindfolds in
commercials that I've ever seen. Nice job. I asked about kids who
whisper about abuse.
"My child will not talk in school or to other people, he sometime have
behavior in school fighting and throwing things around i do not know to do
because, of this he is not learning well in school is there any help out
there for him?
"hi my 5 year old daughters the same but she wont talk to anyone only me
and her dad,she hasent talked all through pre school and is starting
primary in 3 weeks,im worried because i know she wont talk.she wont talk
to my mam or any other family members,im at my wits end.any help would be
"I want parents to know that they should not wait overly-long to address signs of Selective Mutism. For some children, the problem is only one of anxiety, and parents should consult a licensed child guidance professional. But many children with SM have undiagnosed speech-language delays or disorders. Consult a Speech-Language Pathologist for evaluation and treatment. (The school is obligated to provide an evaluation if parents request it in writing.) If speech-language delay or disorder is present, the child's SLP and counselor or therapist should be willing to team up to treat the problems. Intervention plans should consider both the home and the school or other environments where the child has trouble communicating.
"My 5 years old speaks just some words with his friends at the preschool
but almost never to the teacher or in front of the group. At home we speak
in Spanish and at school he has to speak in french. The teacher tells me
that he is very intelligent, understands everything, follows instructions
and that he is happy playing whith the other children. The teacher is
worried about him because in 6 months he will start school. I think that
being exposed to many languages at the same time (Spanish at home and with
the close friends, English from the TV and French at the pre-school) he
has developed a SM in languages.
A friend suggested to me to speak with him in French at home and like that
he would feel more comfortable to speak with me in the language which he
is not comfortable.
Do anyone can give me an advice?"
"My 5 year old little girl has just started big school after being in
preschool for two years previous where she did not speak to any child or
adult. Now that she is in school she refuses to talk. she is excited
going in and loves school but will not talk. I had to ask the teacher if
she could go to the toilet without asking as she was holding on until she
came home as she wouldn't ask. she plays with her older sister in the
playground but she will be moving to another yard next year and I hope my
little girl will cope. she whispers to me if there is anyone around. some
of my family haven't even heard her speak. she is fun loving and playful
at home with her sisters but I'm nervous that her confidence is not
improving. she doesn't want people she doesn't know her to hear her
speak. I have told her it doesn't matter and she can speak when ever she
wants. what else can i do to help her"
"i am a prescholl teacher who has a child with selective mutism and was
wondering if you had ant ideas for me to use in the class room"
"I think my daughter is a select mute. She only speaks to immediate family
only. She never makes friends and she offends most adults due to her not
speaking, responding and giving them a dead stare. I've spoke to her
daily about saying hello when she enters a room but when we get in front
of others she says nothing. It's very embarrassing for me and just
heartbreaking. Most people think she's very rude and just unkind and
that's not the case. She is a chatter box at home, full of life and would
give anyway anything that she has. She's an honor roll student and
extremely bright little girl. It's difficult for me to find childcare for
her because she won't respond and it just drives most people crazy. I
swear this situation is slowly killing me. She complains that she does not
have friends but she has not reason why she won't speak and at least smile
and be friendly. She really is unapproachable and most children just feel
she is very weird."
"If anyone has had any sucess in soving this problem please email me what
worked. I have a niece that is 11 years old put has NEVER spoken a work in
school,churchetc. The only one she will speak to is her mother & father.
She has never said a word at our family get togethers. My heart aches for
her. Kids pick at her for being abnormal."
"Hopefully I will reassure some of you. My son was dignosed with selective
mutism at age 3. He would only speak to me, my husband, and my youngest
son and one friend. But he would not speak to us in front of others. He
would not speak to my family either. The school made a HUGE issue of
this. He was perfectly well behaved, made honor roll but the teachers
hated the fact that he would not speak at all, the most he would do is
whisper. I took him to a counselor at the school's insistence and the
first thing she told me was not to let other people dictate what I expect
from my child. From that point forward I let my anxiety go, didn't care
what other people thought about my son and just lived our lives according
to our terms. I can remember one time my son wanted me to tie his shoe
and I was talking to a neighbor and he would just point and grunt at his
foot. My neighbor had this shocked look on her face. I just tied his shoe
and didn't even explain the situation. Whe!
n I told my husband about it we laughed. I think this woman thought my
son was mentally challenged but I didn't care, I let people think what
they wanted. My son is now 19. He participated in sports and worked as a
lifeguard all through high school. He just finished his freshman year in
college, a math major. No, he's not the life of the party, but he is an
intelligent, self-assured, normal, know-it-all teenager enjoying college
"Can you be older than 3,4, 5 etc. and still have this? Like could you be
a teen and have this..or would it be called something else"
"Hello, My four year old girl is not talking in school for two years now.
she goes to a small private school where she gets lots of attention and
affection from teachers. But she is still not talking, she communicates
with them indirectly like nodding and will do her work in class,but
wouldn't talk at all. sometimes they can't grade her because she has to
talk to get a grade. we are thinking to put her in public school next
year with her seven year old brother. she will be attending kindergarden,
offcourse will have a large class, we are thinking maybe this change will
break her silence. When she is at home, she talks a lot, sings, and is
very talented in everything. what kind of advise you will give to me in
raising her. "
"Hi my son is three years old, he started pre-school since january and he's
still not talking to the teacher. He only shakes his head when he is asked
a question, but he's very verbal at home, can i get some advice on this
"my son has a problem with selective mutism. He only talks at school and
home. He shuts down at church, and around other family members. This
really bothers me I don't know what to do, when I read this article I felt
that there is hope. At least now I know that there is a term for what he
"Just read your article about 'selective mutism.' We have been working
with my 12 year old for the past 6 years. However, we are having
difficulty with academics. He's now in the 7th grade, but reading at a 3-4
grade level. How can we further overcome these challenges?"
"This has helped my family a great deal! My son is five and entering
Kindergarten in the Fall. He is extremely bright, has a great vocabulary,
and is begining to read. However, he has always had a problem with
speaking to people; he gets very nervous and clams up. It seems like he
wants to say something, but just can't. We never knew why or what to do
about this until now. My husband and I did some research online to see if
this was a medical problem; it just seemed to go way beyond being 'shy'.
I have made an appt. w/his pediatrician to discuss SM because I believe
this is exactly what my son is suffering with.
Thank you for this article!"
"My kids has same symptom, any idea how to help?"
"iv just read your article and found it very helpful. im a
pre school teacher to a 3yr
old who will not speak or even whisper, yet at playground time will excel
at communicating with the babies. when her class mates and adults come
near , she stops all communication and will only smile and watch.
her parents say she is attending speach therapy and a child psychcologist
, and that at home she is coming along great, confidence is growing daily
along with speech. she has a baby sibling which would explain the
confidence with the babies in the play yard. i would like to offer her
parents support and work along side them to help the girl, but what
activities in the class room can you recommend please, as so far she is
reluctant to join in any class room interaction at all, even one to one
My brother has three children. The oldest (18) is bi-polar. The next two,
a 12 year old girl and and a 9 year old boy both suffer from selective
mutism. Both will only whisper. Both are being home schooled.
I was wondering if you have ever come across two children in the same
family with the same syndrome.
These kids live in Fairfield CT. Are you aware of any specialist in
selective mutism in this area?
"thank y for you advice. I have a question about my child
I have a similar problem with my child, he is verbal at home but does not talk at school, or if someone that he does not know comes to our house, he stop talking and want to get everything by pointing or grabbing one of us by the arm. At times I think he does it for attention but I am not sure how to go about it.
thank you "
"hi my son started of just speacking to the family. but now since going on hoilday with my parents wont talk to me now or anyone im scared and dont no what to do"
"'I have a little niece that is 6 yrs old, Kindergarten, she will not talk at school,she is one of the children in that grade that has made the most 100's on her papers and work. The school is talking about keeping her in K again, what would this do but kill what self esteem she has. How do we help her?"
"I have a seven year old who has sm and she is seeing a psychiatrist and
psychotherapist but the meds they put her on has been making her angry
neither doctor is familar with sm if anyone can help with finding help in
las vegas who knows about sm. Thanks"
"I hope you will not be shocked by my saying that I am an 82 year old man who has returned to College and majoring in Physcology. Your subject of 'Selective Mutisim' is indeed a facinating subject to me and I will give my final oral relating to children who will not speak up in school. As a 'side', I can relate to this form of mental disorder for I too was one of those children who did not speak up in class but was a human terror on the outside. Have I changed?. Not only have I changed but I now can give a speech on almost any subject and make it last for hours in front of a multitude of people. What has caused this change? It is an interesting subject since my class at the moment is 'Human Development'
I hope giving you this knowledge will assist others in giving that first talk in front of a group with my heart pounding so hard that I thought I would not be able to utter one word. But I have not only conquered that fear but am also writing books and hope I can someday publish one. Writing and speaking are now a hobby with me. Finally may i say that the change was not easy but very rewarding."
"Thank you for the article. I had a freind call me yesterday regarding a piece they saw on the Today Show regarding SM. They said 'Watch it. I think this may be what Drew has'. I do beleive my son has this. He has diarreha persistently and always complains of stomach aches. I now think this may be why. I'm worried and wondering what to do next? He shruggs his shoulders when spoken to by an adult in public and becomes almost frozen in that position. At home he is totally different. We have always said that it is like he has two different personalities. "
"the advice is right on the money, but what do you do when your child was dx with sm and has an iep but the teacher is 'tired' of reading the material and is frustrated and does not want to do what the experts say. we have an iep but they just say my daughter is stubborn, which is not the case. i am a very frustrated mother. i am so tired of having meetings with the school and the committee ganging up on me. my problem is that the dr. quit to stay at home with the family, so i am on waiting lists. even though i have had 2 dr's call the school in the past they don't want to do anything by reading books or online information"
"Wow...I never knew it was a disorder until I read this.My child is like this all the time at school,and he is in 7th grade."
"My son has Selective Mutisim and from everything we have wittnessed and discussed with Dr. Elisa Shippon-Blum elimininating pressure to speak has to be in conjunction with other techniques. Eliminating the pressure to speak and lowering anxiety will not in its self lead to spontaneous Verbilization. The mute behavior becomes ingrained in the childs personality and develops as a learned behavior for coping with anxiety. It needs to be un-learned. If you only remove the pressure to speak they continue to function in school in a mute way because being mute keeps their anxiety lowered. "
"I have a four year old boy, who started school in September. He hasn't spoken one word at school since starting. The teacher has approached me saying we have to evaluate him. I have no concerns at home. He is a very confident child, who is very smart for his age. DO you have any suggestions to help me. I have heard of selective mutism, and as a Pre-School teacher have had sme experience with children who have SM. I don't truly believe that my son has it, I think he is playing games!"
"My daughter had a severe case of Selective Mutism. The medicine Paxil helped her tremendously!! She now talks, sings and participates in all school activities. She has been on Paxil for one year and the difference is remarkable."
"Three comments did not receive public replies. All 3 are 'Frequently Asked Questions' in the Yahoo group
Lay people and professionals
answer from their own
Re: the 6/8 and 12 year olds
mentioned, sounds like it
could be SM. There's a link
to a story about diagnosing
along with other useful info.
Past experience with SM is
NOT essential. Desire to
help the child is...very
distinct from desire to
gain compliance from child.
A really good teacher or
a parent with flexibility to
actively intervene can help
the child without 'priors'.
an SM parent"
"My daughter is now 11 years old. She is entering the 6th grade, and now makes this 7 years with selective mutism. The school she attends has made arrengements to make it easier for her, like having flash cards when younger, and now a white board.All of her friends know she doesn't talk, and opted to talk for her. Although I appreciate all the support I feel that this has incourage her to not talk.I am also scared that if she went to another school it will make her condition worst. I feel like I am running out of time. I don't want this to follow her to high school. Do you recommend I start Prozac on her? My biggest challenge has been finding a professional that has actually treated this condition. I usually find someone that has read about it. Can you help find someone in the Phoenix,AZ area."
"Would it be the same thing if my child will not speak to ANYONE besides me and my 12 yr.old nephew who now lives with me? At tmes she will speak to my mother whom we only see a few times a month, but more when she sees her as a playmate. She does not even whisper nor will she give eye contact, but will only shake her head yes or no for her responses. I sometimes feel like the mother kangaroo when my daughter is in an uncomfortable situation (which seems like always)...it can feel as if she needs to retreat to the 'pouch' for security. I'm at a loss at what to do. "