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Twins with Selective Mutism

Asked By: Anonymous     Views: 3,901 times

I have identical 5 year old twin boys. Around age 3 I started noticing them becoming very shy and scared in social atmospheres. They went through one year of preschool without saying a word to teacher or classmates. Both were diagnosed last year with Selective Mutism. They started kindergarten in Sept 2010. We decided to put them in separate classes, thinking they were "feeding off" each other. Ethan has made great progress the last couple months. He has started to talk to teachers and classmates, and participates in school activities. Evan, however, has not yet said a word in school. I feel like there has to be something we can do to help him, but I dont know where to turn.  The school is offering little help in providing or suggesting a plan of action.  I dont want Evan to fall behind in school because of his social phobia.  It saddens me that he is like this because I feel like he is missing out on so much fun. I dont know what to do, I dont know how to help him.  Any advice would be appreciated.

One of the keys for parents of selectively mute children is the need to manage (their own) stress and emotions on the journey to discovery and healing. It is imperative to develop realistic expectations. It is crucial that you understand and manage your own anxieties.After the parents make substantial progress with non-enabling, facilitating the childrens' attachment to, and identification of, emotions and thoughts, integrating the therapeutic approach into the school is possible.Expecting the school to know how to therapeutically manage the sm child is, in most cases, an unrealistic expectation.Premature strategies in school will result in a fragented approach of "accomodation", which may negotiate academic issues (in the short term), but inhibit the mental health and emotional healing of the child (in the long term). The ternm "accomodation" (as in a 504 plan) really needs to be understood. It's not a simple process.Parents need to learn how to advocate with the school. It takes some sustained hard work.

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