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Medication & Selective Mutism

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
My 6yo first grade ds is showing signs of selective mutism - he is a normal healthy child at home, but at school or other social settings (other than family gatherings) he absolutely refuses to talk. I was going to try to talk to his pediatrician or a therapist about this, but I am afraid that they are going to insist on medication, which is something that I am adamantly opposed to. Can a parent be forced to give their child medication? I was not sure what a parents rights were in regard to this.
post #2 of 7
I would get in touch with a child psychologist who has knowledge and worked with children with selective mutism.

My best friends DD was potentially considered to have this. Because of issues with her X-DH and the child's refusal to speak to people (other than parent or close family or those she was comfortable with), she got the child into a psychologist. In the end, it was a diagnosis of social anxiety bordering on general anxiety.

She was never offered medication, but rather counseling on a weekly basis. Her DD is doing much better now. She is still going to counseling about 2 times a month. She is now talking in school and talking to her teachers. She was first diagnosed in Kinder and is currently in 2nd grade. Her speaking has negatively affected her education in that she does not do well with verbal learning, she is a purely visual learner. As a result, on standardized testing she does horrible in a lot of stuff, but she is visually gifted after testing.
post #3 of 7
I'm a special ed teacher and know of no medication used to treat mutism. There are meds for anxiety, which is very often the cause of selective mutism, but most children do not get it.

I would urge you to seek help for your son, and not worry about the meds. The doctor can recommend a variety of options to help him and cannot order you to choose a specific one.
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by PikkuMyy View Post
There are meds for anxiety, which is very often the cause of selective mutism, but most children do not get it.
I must respectfully disagree with your assertion that most children to not get meds for selective mutism.

I took my 7 year old dd to her neurologist last week to discuss her latest eeg results (she has epilepsy) and her neuro is referring her for a neuro/psych eval for selective mutism. He said he wanted to put her on prozac for her anxiety issues. I am strongly against this and will try therapy and other options before doing anything invasive like meds.

Perhaps her neuro is the exception but given our meds happy society, I doubt it.
post #5 of 7
When my dd was diagnosed with Selective Mutism, I was adamant about not giving her medication. I found a great child psychologist who specializes in childhood anxiety disorders and at our consultation, I told her about my stance on medication and asked her what her plan of action was.

For the most part, we went with a behavior modification approach, which worked. My dd went from weekly therapy sessions to monthly sessions. She has made great progress.

When you find a therapist, express your concerns and if they push you into doing anything you don't feel comfortable doing, find someone who will listen to and respect your choices. HTH.
post #6 of 7
Also, request an IEP/504 Multifactoral Assessment from the school. This way, they are working on her issues as well, instead of being forceful and making the child talk.

One of the things my friend learned is that you have to take a non confrontational approach (like it does not matter). But if the child is expected to say "yes"/"no" or ask for milk to get it, the child should be required to at least make the attempt.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Also, request an IEP/504 Multifactoral Assessment from the school. This way, they are working on her issues as well, instead of being forceful and making the child talk.


Before we could get an IEP (which my dd now has) we had to get an official diagnosis to give to the school.
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