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  • MyBabyBay

    • Selective Mutism II

      July 30, 2010

      I blog about this when Tim entered primary 1. He had a problem where he cannot speak in school. He didn’t speak to his friends or teachers when he was in kindy at all. His friends asked me “Can Timothy speak?” Similarly, first few months of primary 1, he was the same.

      My hubby and I took steps to encourage him to speak in school. I took some flash card and accompany him to school. I would ask him to read to me in a quiet area. Every time he does that, he gets rewarded with a sticker, eventually get a gift after collecting a number of them. He could read the cards without problem in school.

      Next step, we invited 2 to 3 friends which he talks about at home. First we can see he wanted to talk but his high anxiety holds him back. All he could do was whisper. His friends were amazed to hear him whisper because they never heard his voice before.

      We were persistent to do this until he could read to his friends at normal voice. After a few weeks, we took a simple story book and he read his with his friends.

      We told his class teacher and counselor teacher that he was having such problem. His counselor teacher always invites him to her office to talk to him. He could whisper to her. He was really happy when the teacher gave him a ruler.

      That was standard 1. Now he is in standard 2, he can talk & play with his friends and sing in school. He still find it difficult talking to teacher. The teacher said he only whispers.

      However in Sunday School, he could talk to the Sunday School teachers. I am seeing that he is overcoming his high anxiety.

      If you are in the similar situation with me, don’t panic or scold your child. Take small steps to encourage your child. You can view lots of video in YouTube that talks about “Selective Mutism” Most of the time, they will overcoming their high anxiety with not talking. That is their coping mechanism. No one know what is the root cause of this problem. However I suspect it could be due to bad experiences they encounter in school, like fierce teachers scolding them or other children.

      Parents out there, if you are talking steps to help your child, although progress is slow, you child will eventually overcome his high anxiety.

      By the way, Timothy does not have any problem with his academic. He still learns and does well in school. However he is not doing well with Lisan and Oral which requires him to read to the teacher.

    • Bravo Teachers!

      February 6, 2009

      I must say bravo to Timothy’s teachers. Yesterday I received the first “jumpa cikgu” letter from the school. I told myself “oh oh”. I already predicted what will happened.

      As some of you know that Timothy had a problem with Selective Mutism meaning doesn’t want to speak in certain environment namely school. He overcame it when he was in kindy last year as the teacher reported his progress in reading. Today he is in a different school, which means he has to do it all over again.

      I blog about the KIA2M assessment and Timothy didn’t do any of it. The counselor teacher met with my hubby and I to discuss his problem. As many of Timothy’s class teachers’ feedback to her telling her that Timothy doesn’t want to talk or read. They have a concern. She called Timothy to her office and did a psychology test (whatever that is) with him. He could do it all. Timothy has no problem understanding instructions, learning new BM vocabulary and doing his homework correctly.

      I told her about “Selective Mutism”, printed some info for her and explain to her about Timothy’s problem. I should have done this earlier. She was very surprised that this even existed. I am glad that the teachers brought up the issue and they were willing to help him.

      She sat with us and Timothy to do the KIA2M test. Timothy did most of the questions right and trying very hard to read to her in his small voice, almost whispering. It is a small step for him to learn to talk in school.

      I must thank the teachers for asking us to meet them and giving Timothy a second chance. It is great to know that even in Kebangsaan school there are caring, dedicated and helpful teachers. Bravo to them in highlighting their concerns to us upfront. Now they are in the light of Timothy’s problem and willing to help us. We parents need to work a good relationship with the teachers to understand the progress of our children.

      A step for me is to encourage and motivate Timothy to talk in school. One thing I may do is to spend 15-30 minutes in school ground, asking Tim to read to me. With selective mutism, we must consistently take small step to help the child to progress. Please pray for Timothy to overcome this problem.

      P/S: He talks like a normal boy outside of school compound. I have a hard time keeping him quiet at times.