Our daughter is 4 years old and goes to her 2nd year-Kindergarden. She has selective mutism. She speaks very well with us as parents, as brother (2 years) and to close relatives. In addition, she speaks reasonably well within communities of different environment (ordering food in restaurants, supermarkets, Shopping Centers). We would highly appreciate your help in how to get her to reduce her anxiety and speak at kindergarten with her teachers and peers. Awaiting your kind response and thanking you we remain.
Wow, you are truly asking a million dollar question! I could give you a book about three inches thick on ways to help lower anxiety. And, what works for one child does not necessarily work for another. However, the ultimate goal is to help your child acknowledge and be able to understand her anxiety by helping her to figure out her feelings in various anxious settings. What needs to be done is to try to encourage one on one get togethers, one child at a time, with her school friends. Playdates away from school are key!! Spending alone time with her teacher and encouraging small groups in school with the kids she is the most comfortable with is recommended as well.
I recommend working with a treating professional who can help progress your child from one step to the next. Please understand that your child needs a lot of understanding and acceptance as well. She needs to know that you support her 100%. It is amazing that when parents convey that they UNDERSTAND and remove all pressure to speak how much the child improves!
Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum