Our daughter, will be 5 in September. she has been selectively mute for 2 1/2 years and has never been able to endure preschool due to anxiety. How do we ease the transition to school? Should we proceed slowly, as is our inclination or confront her fears as the school psychologist suggests? Also, do many sm’s have sensory issues or Asperger’s? we are finding cognitive and sensory delays in our daughter who is otherwise very bright. thank you!
Honestly, you will traumatize your child if you try to get her to CONFRONT HER FEARS head on into the new school year! I wholeheartedly disagree with this psychologist and I suggest you educate her to SM. Your child is a little girl that is severely anxious, the best approach is a gradual weaning into the situation. Start off slow, take her to the school before the school year begins, etc…I recommend you purchase EASING SCHOOL JITTERS to help with ideas on how to help your child feel more comfortable with school.
Also, I see sensory issues often with sm children. I recommend an evaluation by a pediatric occupational therapist to check for sensory issues. If your child does indeed have concurrent sensory integration disorder this can actually make her anxiety worse. Shutting down from sensory overload can be debilitating, and needs to be addressed.
Aspergers should not be too hard to differentiate from sm. Please pursue the correct diagnosis, this is of utmost importance in overall treatment.
Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum