My daughter is 6 (in Kindergarten) and has SM. She seems to be getting better (talks quietly to close friends) but still will only whisper occasionally to her teacher (not to other teachers). On May 21 (Mon) each member of her class is supposed to read a paper about themselves (Kristen seems anxious but says she wants to do it-she says she was too embarrassed when they practiced in class). I am wondering if I should let her try it or should I intervene so that she doesn’t have a setback. I feel that she should try, but I don’t know if that is the right answer. Also, is it okay to take her to do something as a treat if she does read it (I don’t want to be negative but I think it is a little unrealistic at this point-but you never know and I don’t want to underestimate her, she does have the desire.)

Do you have an opinion (to try or not to try)? We have been making her SM a nonissue for several months now per the recommendation of the SM specialist in our area. Help?


I agree with you, if your child has never verbalized, it is unlikely she will start when ‘all eyes are on her.’ SM kids do this often, they say they will speak (because they really want to), but due to their anxiety level, they cannot. This can be very disheartening to the child, because they feel as though they could not do something as easy as ‘talk.’

A suggestion I have is to have her tape her assignment at home on a tape recorder. Tell her what you are going to do, see how she reacts. This often works well. She can then play the tape for the teacher alone (at first) and then to the class (if she is comfortable with this). When she does do this, reward her efforts and let her know how proud you are of her!

Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum