Originally Posted by corrie43
I am following this with interest because I believe my daughter is selectively mute with severe seperation anxiety. She is supposed to start kindergarten next year, but I can not even leave her for 30 mins to do children's church. She is a chatterbox with all the kids in my home daycare and the parents, but when she sees them at church or somewhere she is not comfortable she will not speak at all and freeze up. We have tried gymnastics, swimming, and karate without much luck, she won't leave my side and won't speak most of the time.
She will freeze up and not speak anytime she feels she is on the spot or people are watching her. She won't even eat sometimes if she feels like someone is looking at her. Same thing with trying new things or taking medicine, she wants us all to look away.
My husband thinks it is all made up, he thinks all mental disease, even the depression I am on disblility for is all in my head and can be overcome if you try hard enough. He thinks she is shy and stubborn and she'll get over it when we just leave her at school. I think that is bull and she needs help and is not going to seperate well. it will tramuatize her..
I am heartbroken over the whole thing and wish the first day of school would never come... I'm afraid she will be sick or need to use the bathroom, but be too afraid to ask...
Oh, dear, I'm so sorry to hear this.
So, she's currently not in a preschool?
Are you in the US?
One thing I might suggest to you is writing down everything you can about her. Take accurate notes of her behavior. You can, without any cost to you, get her evaluated through your state's preschool (3-5) early intervention program. You can say you are concerned about her behavior potentially affecting her academic success in school and want an evaluation before she enters K. Tell them you suspect something is amiss and why. They will screen her (or try to) and then they will be able to suggest whether or not she needs additional testing. The preschool screening usually happens 3-4 times a year. If you hurry, you can get one done soon.
Call your local school, tell them you want the name and number to the local early intervention program. They will know what it is and you can call that number they give you and get the ball rolling.
Even more than just support for your daughter, you need support for yourself.
Even if you husband doesn't believe there's a problem, maybe he would if you got some professional to put it in writing that there is a problem. Maybe he'd be more inclined to pursue getting help.
Is your dd going to K the fall of 08, or the fall of 09? If it's the fall of 09, you have time to get the preschool early intervention process going.
Did your child have a K screening process? Most schools in the US have a K readiness screening. You can voice your concerns during the screening session, ask questions about what happens if x,y,z occurred, and make it clear that you believe your daughter has anxiety issues, severe separation anxiety, and possibly selective mutism. Ask them point blank what you can do now to ease the transition to school. It is in the school's best interest for themselves that they help you help your daughter.
During the K screening process for my oldest daughter (not the one with severe anxiety/sm), she froze up during the first assessment. It went into her file that she is extremely shy and wouldn't respond to the tester. But then when she moved to the next table and started warming up, she was responding. But the note stayed in her file. As it happened, they seemed to take this into account when they placed her with a warm and friendly teacher.
Now, should you happen to get no helpful answers from anybody (and that is unlikely as early intervention is taken very seriously by the school system), all you can do is wait til she is in school and see what happens. Send a note with your daughter in her backpack explaining that she may have difficulties. If something "bad" should happen, then you can at least argue with the teacher/administration that you warned them and they didn't do anything about it. Then become "that parent" and complain until they do something about it.
Basically what I'm saying is that (unless you can homeschool, but I'm guessing your dh will be dead set against it), if you get nowhere with early intervention, that you may end up having to send your dd into a situation that will be very uncomfortable for her. I want to assure you that even if it is uncomfortable for her, "she WILL be okay". She will not be ruined for the rest of her life if she has a difficult transition to K. Even getting help a little later will be better than getting no help at all.
As long as you can get help for your daughter before she is 8 for SM, she will have a better chance of success at changing it.
In the meantime, here are some resources about selective mutism you can read up on.http://selectivemutismcenter.org/WhatisSM.htmhttp://www.selectivemutism.org/about-smghttp://www.asha.org/about/publicatio.../020924ftr.htm
My husband used to think dd was being stubborn on purpose. He hated it when she looked away when he was talking sternly to her (for discipline purposes). It was only when I took her to the early intervention evaluation where she didn't respond for them, and when she went to preschool, and wouldn't talk there either that he began to realize she's not just being defiant.
There is a huge difference between "WON'T" and "CAN'T".
Do you think he'd be willing to read some of the description of the selectively mute child?
Also, bring up these issues with your child's pediatrician. Ask him/her to get you a referral to someone that can help you with your child's behavioral issues. Most medical insurances will cover neurological/neuropsychological testing when it is referred to by a medical doctor (pediatrician). Neuropsychological testing by the way is very different than psychological testing in that it is a medical (brain dysfunction) based assessment.
I will be sending good vibes your way that you can get answers.
I am posting a lot about my daughter's updates with testing if you click on "my online journal" in my signature. If nothing else, you may find something helpful, or at least feel like someone in the world understands what you are going through.
And I want to be bold and suggest that you need support just as much as your daughter does. I can say with wholehearted certainty that the worries you have with your daughter are affecting you deeply. Now that I am getting help with my daughter, a lot of my anxiety and even anger (at having to deal with the same issues over and over and over again) is dissipating. Having to handle everything on my own was truly affecting my mental health.
Oh, and I would like to suggest supplementing with magnesium (for both you and your daughter). I have read that there is a strong link between anxiety and depression and a magnesium deficiency. Our food supply (at least here in the US, is woefully lacking in enough vitamins and trace minerals).
I hope I have helped some.
Big hugs to you mama.