I have reached a point of total frustration! My daughter is almost 7, in first grade. We have backed off the pressure to talk in school, allowing her to tape her assignments at home. She got very, very scared when I brought up having her tape them at school in her empty classroom as was suggested. So, I didn’t push it. Then she started having major meltdown tantrums after school. Anything would set her off. She kicks and screams and yells hurtful things (“I hate you, you are a bad mommy/daddy, no one likes me……..) after she cries for a bit, I grab her in a big bear hug and sit down on the floor with her and rock her and sing to her until she can catch her breath (she also hyperventilates during these). When she settles she will finally open up and tell me what is wrong. She is feeling isolated and alone at school and she thinks I’m not helping her anymore! So she decided I need to do something to help her. Since we haven’t found a doctor who has ever seen SM before I started giving her St. John’s wort to help with anxiety and I am going to make her start doing the taping with me at school later this week. I am in the process of working out the time with teacher, when we can have the class without teacher present. Anyway, she seems to want me to push her. Her original psychologist is very eager to have her back under his care, but he has never seen SM before and is interested only to increase his knowledge. I am not eager for her to be a guinea pig for him. But, I feel she may need meds and I would need a physician for that. I did find a MSW who had heard of SM before, but she was confident it was caused by abuse so I refuse to go to her. Help????? Background: K was diagnosed at 5 with SM. She talked a few times in kindergarten when she was kept after school and told she couldn’t go home until she talked. In first grade she started out talking and we goofed and praised her. She is in her words, “ready to talk but I just don’t know how”


You mentioned your daughter is on St John’s wart. Honestly, I am not an advocate of herbs in children. Truth is, Herbs are not adequately studied (as are pharmaceuticals ) and we simply do not know the exact mechanism and effects of the herbs. Because herbs work very nonspecifically you normally need quite a bit of herb to make a significant difference…this only leads to potential side effects. Although St John’s wart is used for Depression, I have seen individuals get anxious on St John’s wart. Perhaps your daughter’s tantrums and intense frustration is a direct result of the herb and increased anxiety. Tantrums, irritability, inflexibility, crying…etc are all anxiety effects. Please think about the use of herbs.

You mentioned going to a therapist. If the therapist or doctor does not understand SM, you should not go to them….if they have never dealt with SM, and are willing to learn and understand SM, you should consider them. As long as your practitioner is willing to learn and understand SM that is wonderful. We offer therapists the opportunity to learn about SM through our site. Encourage your practitioner to view our information.

Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum