Anticipating the school year with the selectively mute child.

We have 15 days until school starts.

I feel much better about my selectively mute daughter starting kindergarten this school year. She has made a lot of progress in the past 2 years. To see the summary of her journey, you can click on the tab above.

She goes into kindergarten with an IEP plan in place and will have speech and language therapist to help her weekly and chart her progress. If we need adjustments to the plan, we can revisit it at any time.

I’m really excited for her and confident that if she runs into difficulties we can work them out. It helped a lot that she had a positive experience at the preschool early intervention class that was right inside the elementary school she is going to attend this year. She was able to get familiar with the school building and the staff last year when her SLP had taken my daughter on errands throughout the school building: to the office to get copies made, to the lunchroom to pick up milk for her classmates, to the nurse’s office and the kindergarten classrooms to take notes to the teachers, to the gym and to the library for other errands.

We spent time at the playground after school last year a lot, and we made sure to attend all the holiday parties and the fun fair and the Scholastic book fair at the school last year because her older sister attended the school. All these helped to create positive associations with the school for her.

We continued with her ballet up until her recital in June. She did wonderfully – performing with her classmates (and older sister who was in the same class with her) with a SMILE on her face, on a high school stage, in front of a lot of parents. It was wonderful to see.

I’m so pleased with how the past year has gone, even though she had a rough start of things. I feel much more confident that my daughter will make a good adjustment to school. I will make a request to visit her teacher and classroom the day before school starts to get her familiar with the layout before all the kids start the first day. I am hoping for a particular teacher that my oldest daughter had, who is warm and caring and really enthusiastic and I had a really good relationship with.

It’s going to be interesting to see how things work out for her. I’ll be sure to update when she starts school.

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2 Responses to Anticipating the school year with the selectively mute child.

  1. lynn0906 says:

    Just wondering. I know you are close to Chicago, right? Have you ever had your daughter seen by the docs at the Social Anxiety Clinic down at UIC? We have a long awaited appointment coming up for our son there the beginning of September. It’s of course after school starts, but we are so excited to get some real help!

  2. raisingsmartgirls says:

    I’m in the neighborhood of Chicago, yes. I didn’t take her there, but only because of distance and I’m not fond of city driving anymore (I worked in Chicago for 8 years, I had plenty of it then). I did take her to a pediatric neuropsychologist out in the south suburbs.

    Someone on the early intervention preschool staff did go to the workshop on given by the American Speech-Language- Hearing Association selective mutism in Chicago last winter, and came back with some great ideas to help her in school.

    I do have a resource list given to me by a social worker at the elementary school. I see that one them on the list is Dr. Connelly at Social Anxiety Clinic. I’d be interested to know how it goes with your child.

    Good luck. I think I’ll email you in case you want to share how things go privately.

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