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Selective Mutism? Advice Please


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HI, i have been a childminder for over 4 years. one of the children that I care for is 2.5 years and he has been coming to me since he was 1 year old. the problem that i have is that he will not speak to me, not even in a wisper which he will sometimes do to my assistant but even this is rare. he is the youngest of 4 and his mum assures me that he talks fluently and confidently at home and with family friends. in 1.5 years he has said about 3 sentences to me. when he was smaller and not talking he would babble to himself in the car. I didnt make an issue of it to begin with because i thought he was shy or upset about being away from mum. its only recently that it has occured to me that this maybe a real problem. i still manage to communicate with him, he will point to things and nod or shake his head at my questions. He is also very affectionate to me and gains comfort from me when he is hurt so i am assuming he likes me. he doesnt attend any other settings so i am unable to obs with anyone.. I have tried to read up on this but i can only find info about school aged children.

ANY HELP OR ADVICE WOULD BE VERY GRATEFULL.

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Hi Have worked with many children who are selective mute over the last few years and each one was different. I do have some information on selective mutism in the early years, I will have a look for it and email it to you

killowengirl

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Hi

I have worked with children with the same problem and found this site extrememley useful there are guidance notes for nursery (would apply equally to a childminder and for parents)

 

Smira - Selective Mutism Information & Research Association SMIRA - Selective Mutism Information and Research Association is a registered UK charity providing support and advice for parents of selectively mute ...

www.selectivemutism.co.uk/ - Cached - Similar

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I have worked with children with this problem before. I have found them to be extremely controlling, although I am sure they are all different.

 

Could the health visitor help.

 

One girl we had for 2 years, stood up on her last day and sang a song to the whole group beautifully!

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My gut feeling is that you must keep everything very easy going and relaxed. Don't put pressure on him to speak because it will just make him anxious.

 

Can you get him to sing or join in some familiar rhymes? Could you ask him questions through your assistant so that he is at least keeping the channels of communication open?

 

I think I would speak to his mum and ask her permission to contact the health visitor for advice. It would be interesting to know if he will speak in front of the health visitor or other adults or in other places away from home. You might find that you are one of many which hopefully might make you feel a bit better.

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As my daughter was 'selective mute' when younger I find it quite upsetting that it can be seen as the child being 'controlling'. Obviously every child is individual but in the case of my daughter it was not the case at all - in fact she was quite the opposite - very timid and shy. The term 'selective' also gives the impression that they are choosing not to speak but again in my daughter's case it wasn't that she wouldn't speak but that she couldn't speak. The more pressure put on her to speak - the more anxious she got - which made it impossible for her to speak. Thankfully as she's got older (Year 2) she has overcome this but is still quiet until she is comfortable with her surroundings.

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