M…… shows many signs of SM and will be 3 in September. She will most likely qualify to attend preschool through our school district’s special ed program. (Preschool is 2 1/2 hours, 12 children, 1 teacher, 1 aide, specialists come in during week). Do you think it is a good idea for her to go to school at her age? If so, we would have a choice of number of days 1,2,3 or 4 per week. How many days/week would you recommend? Our special ed caseworker thinks 4 would be good considering M…….’s problems. Thank you for answering my questions!


Your child is not yet 3 and you are already labeling her as SM? and you are already thinking of putting her in a ‘special ed’ class? I think you are making a mistake at this point. First of all, most SM cases do not require ‘special ed’ especially at your child’s age. A wonderfully caring preschool teacher who educates herself about SM and spends time getting to know your child should be all that is needed right now. It sounds as if they do not know what to do with your ‘mute’ child and are taking the easy way out and placing her in a special ed class. What are they going to do with your child in this class that is different than what they would do with her in a regular classroom? You need to understand that. SO few teachers, psychologists and even physicians do not truly ‘understand’ SM, so they end up shuffling children through special ed. and labeling them as ‘special needs.’

Who diagnosed your child at 2 with SM??? My advice to you would be to socialize your child in a comfortable, non-threatening way..bring no attention to her muteness..make no comments about ‘not talking’ and place her in a regular classroom. The number of days is up to you. Since she is not even three, why not spend your time with her a few days a week. Take her places, get to know other young kids, have her involved in one on one playdates…and make no mention of talking. I suggest posting on the forum and asking others about their experience with SM with very young children. I would hate to falsely label a 2 1/2 yr old as having SM….It is way too premature.

Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum