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Elective Mute And Interview


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Hi,

 

I have an interview coming up and have been told that I will be having an elective mute in the group of children I am teaching. I am doing a small world activity with the children putting animals in enclosures and counting their animals and their friends (at least this is my current thought as the lesson is about addition/subtraction and needs to involve small world play)

 

I have never taught an elective mute before, and am just looking for some advise, as I don't want to ignore the child, and want to involve them fully, but am not sure the best way about it.

 

Please can someone come up with some advise

 

Thanks

 

Emily

 

(By the way the lesson is for reception)

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Not sure how much advise I can give as never taught children with it, however, can I recomment Tory Hayden, author of her lide teaching children with selective mutisim

 

My ex (of 8 years) was a selective mute. We spend out first year together, me asking yes or no questions and him shaking his head. He hated being forced into speaking even at 16 and he says he repeated underwent tests at school.

 

I guess if they do decide to participate don't make a fuss, just keep going as you would. It's all about paitence and time and building up a trustive relationship with them.

 

I probs wouldn't go in thinking ohhh they won't talk, after all you can't force a child to participate. One of my children with EAL was playing leap frogs (the ones you press down and jump into pots) she never usually talks at all yet when she got hers in shouted yes in english, such an achievement for her. Might be a fun way of doing it as could at least add up as you's were going anf children were getting them in the pots

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IMO....

sit him next to you not opposite you (this may be too much for them)

comment on what they do...oh i can see you are putting that cow in the big field ....im going to put my cow in the small field etc etc..

....if possible try to add visual communication (makaton sign...if you know it or just guess will probably be right ...that way if they want to communicate they may use their actions rather than words) make it really fun and interactive so that you are the most exciting thing but do not ask direct questions or expect a response....if you get one DONT react other than to respond :o

good luck xD

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A child who is an elective mute (not 'an elective mute' please, - he or she is a child with a special need) is making a decision to stay silent. She is unlikely to talk to you at a first meeting, however these children can surprise you. They've probably only told you about him or her because they don't want you to be faced with someone who appears to refuse to talk to you, and have you try to encourage her to speak.

 

Don't focus specifically on this child, any more than you would on any other. If you're told which child it is, try not to ask her direct questions or put her on the spot.

 

Ask some 'hands up' type questions - e.g. 'who has 3 sheep in their pen?' so that she gets a chance to contribute.

 

Good luck!

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Hi Jemily, I don't think you mentioned what age group, although I'm guessing this may be reception?

 

You could have a look here to read up a little more about selective mutism. Ive experienced this twice in my years as a teacher and once it was psychological trauma that was the root cause; the other we never really got to the bottom of, but it was when she saw me in 'public' in the shops, that she first spoke, actually shouted my name across the store, (and was then happy to talk to me at nursery)

 

I think the thing to remember about this, is not that the child is unwilling to speak but that they are unable to speak in certain social situations.

 

The idea given by others here are good ones, not singling out, giving opportunities to join in without needing to speak; not demanding they speak or answer a question etc.

 

Good luck with it, I hope it goes well for you.

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I think selective and elective are quite distinct conditions.

 

As far as I can tell this child is electing not to speak rather than only speaking in certain situations.

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from wiki

Elective mutism is the former name for selective mutism, a childhood anxiety disorder. Elective mutism was defined as a refusal to speak in almost all social situations (despite normal ability to do so), while selective mutism is considered to be a failure to speak in specific situations and is strongly associated with social anxiety disorder. In contrast to selective mutism, someone who is electively mute may not speak in any situation, as is usually shown in books and movies. Elective mutism is often attributed to defiance or the effect of trauma.

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Hi I have worked with a few and they have all been different. Mundias and finlays maid advice given above is what I would say as well Carry on the activity treating them as you would all the other children but also dont force them to speak as this causes more anxiety and if they do speak or make a sound dont let them see how pleased you are just carry on as if it is normal.

I hope it works out for you.

 

Killowengirl

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Hi,

 

thanks everyone for your replies. (and apologies for only refer to the special need and not the child). Thanks for all your advise. It had confirmed, what I had thought, which was just to treat all the children equally and to ensure I sign. I have not asked which child it is, and in a way hope that it is not pointed out, as that will make it easier for me not to focus on them. I was planning on doing lots of show me, using fingers for the numbers of animals, and assumed that this way all the children would be able to achieve.

Thanks again,

 

Emily

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