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TOPIC TITLE: Selective Mutism
Created On 2/4/08 6:37 PM
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4702125952
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2/4/08 6:37 PM
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I have a student who is 12 years old and whispers during our entire session. She whispers to her teachers and other adults, but speaks in a 'normal' voice to classmates and family members. She comes from a large family, children are closely spaced, mother claims she's exhausted all therapies--speech and language pathology, tutors, etc. although she does not want her daughter to see a therapist (I'm a remedial specialist). What can you tell me about this condition? Is this the right venue for this question?
 
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frumsw
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2/6/08 1:53 PM
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From what I know about it, the best way is for the classroom teachers to be trained by somebody who specializes in it-which doesn't have to be a therapist, it can be a special ed teacher. It's an anxiety disorder and the teachers have to make the child feel very safe and very good about herself. It takes time and is not easy.


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frumsw
 
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mouse
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2/8/08 4:42 AM
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I had a nephew with this problem. If I remember correctly (I really can't ask easily about it now) they took a multi-faceted approach. They had him evaluated by an occupational therapist and found he had some major sensory issues which were eventually addressed and put under control. Furthermore, they brought him to a psychologist (I understand the hesistancy to do so) and he did have ADD. They also gave him some speech therapy (not a whole lot). I think what helped the most for him was the occupational therapy. This was a kid who never said to me a word from day one until 10 or so. He just stared at me and refused to hug me. It was a very scary and sad thing to see. BUT, for what it's worth, he now is a happy, very bright (top of the class) student who volunteers for a Hatzalah in Israel and will most likely go into the army next year (providing he stops doing stupid things that break bones.) If absolutely necessary, I can contact my sister-in-law to find out more about what she did. I know that the OT was specialized in sensory integration issues (a must) and they used special brushes on his body each day a few times a day. Also they put him on medication for ADD. I hope this helps a little. Basically, I'd get him evaluated in everything except physical therapy since that is obviously not an issue. That's my experience. Perhaps others have different suggestions or think what I say is bogus...they should speak up too.


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All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again.
 
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Raisy
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2/25/08 6:16 PM
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Thanks for your posts. The girl I work with has received speech therapy. i don't know if she's a candidate for o.t. i think touch is good for everything. it certainly seems to be an anxiety issue. i would like to discuss this with the mom some more--but she is 'touchy' about it.


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raisy
 
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frumsw
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2/28/08 8:09 AM
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what's nice about having the teachers trained by someone is that the child does not have to see
any specialist herself. maybe the mother will be receptive to that.


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4702125952
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5/2/08 5:39 PM
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Good idea. You reminded me to contact someone I think can help.
 
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