My daughter turned 5 8/2/00. She has been introduced to many new situations in the past 6 months, but still fails to talk. She goes to Sunday school, part-time day care, and swimming lessons. She has never gone to preschool. She is indeed very bright and learns easily. I am teaching her to read and it is going well. Our thinking on holding her back from Kindergarten was in hope that we could save her the bombardment of questions that seem to follow her. Once children know her very well, they accept her and don’t mention her nonverbalization. But in new situations, kids her age are always pointing and asking why she doesn’t talk. It makes her talk even less and it also makes her shy away…and she isn’t a shy child. What do you think of an occupational therapist who uses sensory integration for SM. She told me that we would know within 5 days if it would work or not. No meds are used. I would like to try it if it has possibilities. Thanks again!


If your child has a sensory integration disorder than an occupational therapist can help from that standpoint. But, from all that you describe, I doubt highly that her SM will be cured that way. Some occupational therapists actually have ‘social group’ therapy. This is where a small group of similar age children get together with the therapist, and she helps the children interact with other children. This actually teaches children ‘how to socialize’ with others. I do recommend this, but again, I doubt it will cure your daughter, it may just help her with interacting skills.

By the sound of your letter, and the fact that your child is already five, my personal opinion would be to try a trial of medication. Since her birthday just passed, holding her back until next year may not be so bad from an age standpoint. I just hope from an academic standpoint you keep up with her needs, especially if she is as bright as you say.

Also, if you treat your child with medication and you ‘home school’ her this year, you could possible enroll her in first grade next fall. Some schools will provide a test for her to take, and if she meets the academic qualifications she can start in first grade. Look into this.

So, my advice would be to find a good physician that is comfortable with the drugs used for social anxiety; such as Paxil and Prozac. As you have probably read throughout our sight, these drugs have helped so many children. Especially when they are treated at young age.

Good luck, and please let us know how things are going.

Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum