My six year old daughter was diagnosed with SM about a year ago. She is making wonderful progress (she is up to 8.5 mg Prozac). She is speaking to about 8 classmates, her teacher and she is able to order her own food when out in public. Lately she is unable to speak to relatives if her father or I am nearby. She speaks to them comfortably when we aren’t close. Her doctor thinks it is her “independence”. I don’t think so. What can we do to help her feel comfortable speaking around us? We have never ridiculed her for speaking. It is hard to understand this latest twist. Thank you so much for your help.


Interesting question. Honestly, in my professional experience, the children who ‘stop speaking’ or become more uncomfortable when Mom, Dad or both parents are around, are usually the children who FEEL that their parents are really, really WANTING them to speak. In other words, perhaps you are DWELLING on her speaking and mentioning her NEEDING to speak that she is actually feeling anxious when you are around and/or WATCHING her when she is with others to SEE if she is speaking to them. My suggestion would be to STOP talking about TALKING and stop WATCHING her to SEE if she is speaking to certain people. Our kids are incredibly PERCEPTIVE to what others think and feel.

Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum