Posts filed under ‘Kids With Special Needs’

More on Selective Mutism..

I received a comment from a concerned mom. Let me share it with all of you…

Mommy Wheng says:

Hi! I have a son who’s eight. He has selective mutism. He didn’t talk last year in school and still not talking in school right now. I’ve been reaching out to others with same problem. I feel so alone with the battle. How’s Angelo?

Hello Mommy Wheng!

Thanks for dropping by to my blog. It must be really tough for a mother to see his son not talk in school and seeing him so talkative and jolly at home.

We all struggle to make Angelo talk in school. He has not spoken a word throughout his Kindergarten years and now, he’s still not talking in my preparatory class.

Recently, his mother brought him to a developmental pediatrician and she was referred to a child psychiatrist. The child psychiatrist gave our school some guidelines on how to help Angelo overcome his anxiety. Some of these things were:

1. Angelo should be in small class setting. Fortunately, our preparatory class has only six kids.

2. We are not supposed to force him to talk. So, right now, we just take it as it is. We even asked his classmates not to talk about Angelo’s problem. Most of the time, I alter my teaching style to suit his needs and to assess him on a specific learning task.

3. We encourage his classmates to go to their house to play with him. And last week I started to do some home visitation too.

4. We made it a point to make the school as cozy as a home.

These guidelines proved to be very helpful since Angelo’s tantrums has lessened significantly and we observed that he is starting to control his fine motor skills (writing, coloring, etc).

In addition, Angelo now joins us when we sing our action songs. When he usually just sit through it last year. But of course, he only does the action part.

I know these may sound so trivial but for Angelo it is such a big feat since he was also diagnosed to have a mild attention deficit disorder.

I suggest that you consult a developmental pediatrician first, so that she could give you an idea on what to do next. It is very crucial that you work hand in hand with your child’s teacher. I know it may really take some work on her part but I think (and hope) that she will take this as a great challenge.

I understand your frustration about being alone in this battle since this problem is not that common. If you want, I can give you the contact number of Angelo’s mom so you could talk to her about it.

Please keep me posted on your son’s progress. I know that with proper help and a little patience on your part, your son will grow up to be a happy and smart boy.

August 17, 2008 at 4:22 am 3 comments

Help! My pupil won’t talk……!!!!!

It is hard to manage a class of noisy and hyperactive kids. But it is much more challenging to have a kid in the class that refuses to talk a word.

This school year, I am up to another challenge…I am going to try my best to make Angelo talk. Who is Angelo? Well, Angelo is one of my kindergarten pupils. He is a transferee from another nearby preschool and he hasn’t uttered a word from day one. Nope, he is not deaf and mute. Angelo can talk at home, he can talk in the mall, he can talk in any other place…but he just won’t talk in the school.

Angelo is suffering from a severe anxiety disorder called Selective Mutism. Selective mutism is a rare anxiety disorder characterized by a child’s inability to speak in select social settings. That means, Angelo can easily express himself in places that he feels secure and comfortable. Unfortunately, our school is not one of them.

Right now, making Angelo talk has been a class concerted effort. My pupils are all trying so hard to make Angelo talk while in class. One time, Mimi (his classmate) tried bribing him with a date in Jollibee just for him to talk. But alas, Angelo won’t budge.

Anyway, according to an article that I’ve read, kids with Selective Mutism needs to be assured that school is a secure and non-judgemental place for him to express himself. Well, so far we have been trying to get close to Angelo but he still keeps everything to himself. I guess this one will surely test my patience….Oh God…help me!!!

October 31, 2007 at 6:28 am 4 comments


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