It’s hard to believe this is the same child who had S.M.

I wanted to share an update with my formerly selectively mute child.  Last month, she participated in an opera at school (The Barber of Seville).  She performed on the school stage in front of the third grade parents.

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That’s K, saying her lines.  She had about 3 lines, but she said them very well.

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She was the servant of Count Almaviva.  There was a point where it was just the two of them on stage.

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And then half the cast moved into the audience for the dance performance and the last song of the Opera.

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We’re just so proud of how far she’s come since that time when she was a preschooler afraid to make friends with her classmates and talk in class.  It’s hard to believe she is 9 now and in the advanced program and she’s been thriving in school with no signs of mutism.

I really hope those whose children have been diagnosed with selective mutism at young ages just hang in there.  With the proper support inside and outside of school, it does get better!

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12 Responses to It’s hard to believe this is the same child who had S.M.

  1. Elena says:

    Well done K and mum!!! I understand your excitement as I am a mother of 2 selectively mute children. Thanks to special techniques and commitment of their primary school staff they started talking in school and I remember them saying their lines from stage during school assemblies.

    • raisingsmartgirls says:

      That’s wonderful to hear! I love it when our SM children start blossoming. It’s such a blessing to see them start sharing themselves after it being so painful for them to do so.

      I remember being so afraid for her. And I’m so glad she had gotten the help when she was young.

  2. Chantal S says:

    Wow! that’s simply awesome! : ) Thanks for sharing this with us! It does get better!!!

    • raisingsmartgirls says:

      Thanks, Chantal.

      I felt so lost once upon a time, but now I know that it doesn’t have to be permanent and there’s a lot more thoughtful handling of these children.

      I still continue to send out information to families, and I never had any idea how many people we might be able to help when I first started. It’s really been really amazing.

  3. DeannaG says:

    This is such inspiring news! Bravo to your daughter. It’s so encouraging to see the progress has been made and is possible as long as you stick with it and that those around her are devoting to seeing her reach her potential as well. I’m a Mom to twin girls who have S.M. We’re moving this summer, I’m expecting set backs but it’s a good move for us nonetheless.
    Congratulations again and I love seeing the updates. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • raisingsmartgirls says:

      Deanna,

      Thank you so much. It’s great to be able to share positive updates. I remember a time when I didn’t know if we’d see the end of this. I’m so glad that I’ve been able to help encourage other parents along their journey. It is something that has been a bright spot when things were looking so dark.

      I know moves can be hard for any child, but hopefully the transition won’t be too bumpy for your daughters. Maybe you can treat it kind of playfully – like your family are explorers, or pioneers and you are discovering new territory. Maybe even draw up a map of your new neighborhood. And one of the first things to do would be to go on a ‘treasure hunt’.

      That way you make it an exciting new adventure that actually could be fun!

      Good luck to you all.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

      Casey

  4. DeannaG says:

    Oh, that’s such a good idea! I’m from the area so we’ve made several trip there already and the good thing is we have so much more support there. Cousins, Uncles, Aunts, etc. So I can only see it as a good thing. We’ve been talking about it already to get them ready, but exploring where we’ll ‘land’ is fun way to make them part of the process. Blessings to you and yours.

  5. Phil says:

    Wow! Thumbs are up all around! First to K for finding her stride and overcoming her SM. Looks like she is having fun interacting with everyone. Second to Mom, for patiently working through her stages and allowing K to bloom at her own pace and on her terms without causing her any additional stress and pressure. And lastly, because I’m such an opera geek, to the school for attempting musical theater and exposing them to an opera. It must have been a hoot! Well done. Congratulations!

  6. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Aw, thank you Phil, for commenting with such lovely thoughts.

    And guess what? They sang two songs in Italian even!

    And you’ll be happy to know that she’s going to be taking a field trip to see a real Opera theater in May. They’ll have a behind the scenes tour of everything – the stage, the dressing room, the green room…

    Last year, my oldest daughter performed in an opera too at school. Hers was La Cenerentola. And yes, it’s been a great experience for all the kids who participated. It was a hoot because these are 3rd graders and it’s just funny to see them pretend to be grownups. In this show, they had two of the boys run through the audience. It’s always nice when they come off the stage and into the audience. It was a great fun!

    It’s so good to see her enjoy herself now. It was so hard when everything frightened her. I remember her telling me she wanted to talk, but the words just wouldn’t come out of her.

    All the best,

    Casey

    .

  7. Kristin says:

    That is so awesome!! I am so happy to have found your blog. My 6 yr old son has SM and we have just not been able to agree with doctors about how to move forward. They have suggested anti depressants and months of expensive therapy. I’m the kind of person who sees medication as a last resort or not necessary at all (in my son’s case, in my opinion.) We also don’t have the money to be bringing him to therapists every week. I felt from the beginning that there had to be a way to give him proper treatment ourselves, and reading your blog has filled us with so much hope that we can help him! I had never heard of the brain/sensory aspect until finding it on your blog. My son matches a LOT of the characteristics of that so we’re going to try some of those strategies. The fact that your daughter has come so far is such an encouragement! Great job, Mom! And thank you for sharing!

    • raisingsmartgirls says:

      I would strongly suggest holding your ground on the medication route. In our case, psychiatric therapy was not needed either. We just needed people inside the school to work with her a little bit to help her be comfortable there, as well as lots of sensory activities. She did get the help of a speech therapist 30 minutes a week when she was in preschool and the first quarter into kindergarten – who was able to assist her with getting to know the layout of the school, as well as going with her on errands and scaffolding the process of talking with staff members. And we went to every single after school fun activity they had. The more she knew people and the more positive experiences she had in the school, the better she was able to relax and eventually blossom.

  8. Latha says:

    Wonderful :-) My daughter is 5 and was Dx with SM at age 4. She has been progressing but obviously is a long way from not having SM. Real stories like this one give me hope. Thank you.

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