She’s 12 now, my bright, spirited, formerly selectively mute child. She was formally diagnosed in May of 2008 and I wrote about her journey here. And this was what I said about her official diagnosis in one of those posts:
We got the written report back from the neuropsychologist on Friday, and on it the words “SELECTIVE MUTISM” is on it under the diagnosis “neurodevelopmental delay with limbic mood dysregulation”.
This is how it is worded – that interrelates the SPD, the attention issues, and selective mutism:
Marked inattention characterized by overexcitation-overinhibition of sensory stimuli is evidenced resulting in heightened sensory sensitivity. This resulted in (among other things related to attention and auditory memory):
* heightened separation anxiety/generalized anxiety, which impeded social fluency. At other times, fluency of interaction was very age appropriate and fluent.
The diagnostic report also included the point that she had these challenges in the “presence of intellectual talent”, which bore fruit as she qualified to enter our district’s G&T program in 3rd grade.
She’s blossomed in this program, and now, as a 6th grader, has been doing very well in her classes.
I wanted to highlight some good news:
- Not only is she in choir (anyone who wanted to could take choir), but she AUDITIONED for and made show choir as well.
- She auditioned for the school play this year and MADE IT! She has 18 lines of dialogue (!!!!!) as a ‘sassy school secretary’ in a mystery.
- She attended the Challenger Learning Center with her science class to perform a simulated mission. She was on the COMMUNICATIONS team, and had to use a headset and received emails and had to VERBALLY communicate the information to her team. In addition, she was directly QUOTED in the local paper which had an article of her classes participation in this program last week on the FRONT PAGE commemorating the 30 year anniversary of the Challenger space shuttle disaster.
I can’t stress enough how much I believe early intervention is critical for our SM kids. I’m glad I could do my part to pass along information to other parents of SM kids, as well as offer emotional support to the parents who are so fearful for their kids’ emotional, social and intellectual development.
There is so much more information out there than there was 8 years ago. Lots more support and understanding of this condition.
I hope to hear more success stories like ours.
If you have an SM success story to share, I’d love to hear it. If you feel like sharing your child’s story, please do so in the comments and I’ll publish your it here on the blog, to help give hope to other families like yours.
I wish you all the best in 2016. Thank you for the dialogue and I hope you’ll continue to seek and find answers.