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<p>Quick background: DD is turning four tomorrow (!), and is a bright and well-adjusted kid, in my opinion.  The only thing I am concerned about is her social development as it relates to speech/language.  </p>
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<p>She speaks very well at home, in full sentences, tells stories, asks elaborate questions, participates in normal conversations with us and other family/friends.  However, at school and in other outside social situations, she speaks very little, especially to adults.  She is quiet and appears shy, clings to me when I am with her and someone speaks to her, and when I am not there (like at her JK class) she rarely responds to peers or teachers.  When she does speak (to ask for help, for example), it's only using two or three word sentences (like "sleeves wet" or "thirsty"), very quietly.  Once in a while she'll say something to a friend, but rarely to her teachers, whom she says she loves when I ask her at home (her teacher is really very nice, I volunteer at the school weekly and have gotten to know her more).  Her teacher brought this up at our parent-teacher conference last week, and I have noticed it myself before this but didn't think much of it.  But since her teacher brought it up, I'm more concerned about her social adjustment and how it will affect her well-being and development.  </p>
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<p>I've contacted a speech-language agency in my city to see what they think, and they said they would have to assess her, but it takes months to get an appointment (thank you, Canadian health care system! <img alt="shake.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/shake.gif">) and the earliest someone will call us back to set it up is February.  I don't want her to get left behind at school or to not have friends, or to not have her needs met.  </p>
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<p>I'm wondering if this is just a case of shyness (and if so, how can I help her be more outgoing?), or is there something wrong with her development, or what else?  What can I do in the meantime?  How do these assessments work?  (She has been exposed to daycare and peer group settings since she was ten months old, and we go to group activities/playdates every week when she is not in school).  </p>
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<p>Any suggestions or comments?  Has anyone had a similar experience?  Thanks.   </p>
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<p>Oh and also, her speech is a tad unclear compared to other kids her age, but most people can understand her.  Is this an issue?</p>
 

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<p>Well, my DD is 4 1/2 now, and she behaved TOTALLY like that at 3 turning 4.  Now she talks a little more with people she is comfortable with when I am not around.  Also, if people come to our house she will generally talk their ears off. </p>
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<p>Her speech is quite clear 95% of the time, but she does the short phrases and baby-talk around others.  For us, we haven't done any evaluations, and it has gotten better with time.  I have found too that me modelling being more outgoing helps some (I'm just not naturally, but I can do it when I need to!). </p>
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<p>For my DD I am pretty sure it is rooted in anxiety.  She also is a really slow processor - she thinks and thinks about stuff before she talks (especially when in new situations or with other people), and I don't think a lot of kids are like that.  By the time she is ready to answer, most people have moved on. </p>
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<p>I think that sort of acting out regular interactions with DD a little beforehand, so she has a script in her head already, might have been/currently is helpful too.</p>
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<p>HTH</p>
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<p>Tjej</p>
 

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<p>Your dd has the language, she uses it at home. It doesn't sound like she has articulation problems out of the normal range but I wouldn't rule out an eval, also don't think a month is a super long wait. I don't know about how it works in Canada but in the US I would recommend an eval by the school district or independent st vs. a medical evaluation. My thinking is that this is a personality/introvert issue. For my introvert I do alot of pretend play, role playing, re-enforcing. He is now 4.5 and does participate in class most of the time but still doesn't speak up on his own very often. It is hard for me to be okay with that, I'm an extrovert and I just can't understand because I see how much more he would enjoy all of his interactions because he does want to be involved and included. But I've come to find it is his way and beyond working with him and encouraging him I have to let him be who he is. I guess what I'm trying to say is it is hard for parents to see their kids struggle but my feeling is that out of those struggles come great things. </p>
 

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<p>Your daughter might have a mild form of what's known as "selective mutism" where a child is unable to speak in public settings. It's usually due to a form of anxiety. Because she can speak in public, and speaks articulately at home, I don't know if I'd do anything other than watch and wait for now. If she doesn't grow out of it by 4 or 4 1/2, I might seek an evaluation.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>LynnS6</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279385/speech-language-in-four-year-old#post_16046072"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Your daughter might have a mild form of what's known as "selective mutism" where a child is unable to speak in public settings. It's usually due to a form of anxiety. Because she can speak in public, and speaks articulately at home, I don't know if I'd do anything other than watch and wait for now. If she doesn't grow out of it by 4 or 4 1/2, I might seek an evaluation.</p>
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This was my first thought as well, though I know very little about it except a friend's child may have it.  I would personally set up the evaluation and go from there even if you have to wait for the evaluation.  </p>
 

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<p>Depending on how much experience she has had away from you in social situations, this is well within normal - selective mutism? Maybe and an eval NEVER hurts so go ahead and get on that wait list - (we have them here in the US too)</p>
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<p>If it's just a matter of shyness and being comfortable would your child's teacher consider doing a home visit? That might help make dd more comfortable and facilitate more language use at school - at the very least to the point of getting her needs met...</p>
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<p>good luck</p>
 
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