Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Selective Mute?


Guest
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi there

I am just wondering if anyone could give me any advice. I have in nursery a little boy who will simply just not talk. He spends the whole session (2 and a half hours) without uttering a word to anyone.

He is able to talk and have been told that he talks none stop at home... As soon as he walks out of nursery we hear him chatting on. I have never come across this before and just wondered if anyone had any suggestions that might help???

 

Thank you :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My advice: Let him be. Treat him normally and try not to make an issue out of it. If children are 'forced into a corner' over anything they have no way out.

 

Patience!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agree with Bungalow, dont force this child but give him time and encouragement.

 

I have had a child in reception who was a selective mute. She did eventually speak, although only in a one to one situation until she was in year1! The other children accepted her and her silence and I gave her opportunities in groups and in circle time activities and with puppets but she remained reluctant. She did eventually read with my NN.

 

Puppets can be a way in but probably in time he will speak meanwhile you have to be alert to the visual signals that he gives.

 

Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My son was the same... never spoke to anyone at pre-school for nearly 18 months. At home I could not stop him talking. They just left him and discussed his speach with me at regular intervals. by doing this they realised he was learning by what he was telling me just did not want to talk there.

He appeared extremely confident in every area and would do all they asked joined in well with other children but did not speak. he was very shy in this aspect, and we felt he was scared or worried about getting things wrong, or not perfect, so better to listen than get it wrong. Low self esteem, although he did not appear to have the problem in any other area, happy in new environments, left me with no worries, confident in his ability except in speach.

 

Eventually he began to talk with them but they had to gain his trust and not force the issue.

 

This happened with him every year he had a new teacher at school. he had to trust them before opening up to them and this often took until the summer term. we were lucky in that the school recognised his difficulty and by end year 1 he was able to be put in a mixed yr 1/2 class with the same teacher for 2 years.

he never looked back, and is now an extremely confident young man who will happily stand up in front of hundreds of stangers give a talk or presentation and not actually get nervous, and just started his 3rd year at Uni.

 

I believe the best way forward is to treat him as you do all the others let him learn to trust you, dont force the issue and discuss this with his parent at a time when he is not with them. They will be able to let you know his progress at home, and hopefully reassure you that he is progressing.

 

Inge

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with all the above. I have had a few and the best thing is for them to decide when they are ready. As long as you know he can, he will choose when he is ready.

One little boy I had was with me from 2 1/2yrs until the term before he was 5yrs. I knew he could talk as mum and nan had both told me but within in the setting, not a word. I still asked him questions for e.g would you like juice or water, and he would point. Then the day after he turned 4yrs, I asked him and he said clear as day, juice please. Without making a fuss or collapse in amazement, he poured his juice, said thank you and went and sat down. Couldn't shut him up after that.

All I can say is don't make an issue of it.

 

Net x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is interesting....we have exactly the same with a boy in our preschool. He is very determined about it and like some other children mentioned here he points and makes his wishes clear in other ways. As soon as he is out of our room and round the corner his mum tells me that he says "Goodbye Carolyn" to me! We have decided not to make a big issue about it, but it is frustrating at times and his parents are very embarassed about it.

 

Carolyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have also worked with a child who was a selective mute, as soon as she came into the building she would stop talking and she would start again as soon as she was collected. Her mother was worried as she was starting school soon and was concerned about the difficulties she would face. As others have said we treated her as all the other children and they quickly accepted the fact she did not speak. Then one day her mother came with her and said she had some very important news she wanted to tell us, the little girl first told me with her mother present and later repeated her news to her friends, after this she would not stop talking, and again her friends accepted the change in her without question. Although frustrating, I would advise not to push any child to speak but to give opportunities in case they want to.

 

Karen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you to everyone for the replies! They have reassured me that I am doing the right thing. He is a very bright boy, very independent and always happy to join in activities on a one to one and in a group-just not talking. Does lots of pointing and nodding. The children have just accepted it or not really noticed!

 

Thanks again

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi

 

I used to have a child in my pre-school room who was like this too. She wouldn't talk to staff, children or her parents when they were present and her parents had said she didnt speak to her extended family either, just her parents and her sister and then she was loud, infact possibly to loud at home, very challenging.

 

She would occasionally offer one word answers if asked a specific question, but this depended on who asked and who else was present. She would stare at people rather than answer, almost willing them to stop talking to her.

 

Despite this though she seemed a happy child in nursery, enjoyed activities, particularly creative ones and played alongside other children easily. I think she was very intelligent for her age, although lack of speech made assessment difficult.

 

Like everyone else has said it's best to just let him be as he wishes to be but talk to him the same as you would any other child.

 

I did some research into selective mutism and it is often liked to nerves and anxiety, so pushing children like that would only add to the problem.

 

Try not to worry about it, I'm sure your doing a great job, and if he's pinting and nodding at least thats something.

 

Nic x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just wanted to let you know that the little boy whispered to me yesterday, whilst we were around the creative table! This carried on for the afternoon. Hoping that this will continue as he feels more comfortable.

Thanks for the advice. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)