Rachel B., mother of selective mutism boy
My son started preschool at two years old and never spoke to his teachers or classmates. I always found it quite odd since he was naturally a very social and extroverted kid elsewhere, but I trusted the teacher’s and pediatrician’s reassurances that he was just shy. I was told that it was not uncommon for kids to be shy in school, and he would outgrow it. Unfortunately, he never did; instead, his ‘shyness’ got worse.
By the time he hit preK, he would shut down as soon as he saw the school. He couldn’t even talk to his father or me on school grounds, and he always looked like he was about to cry. While he was able to complete his classwork, he did not interact or talk to his teacher or classmates at all.
My social, happy boy would sit in the corner by himself or play in the far corner of the playground. We tried everything to get him to talk – we bribed him, we withheld privileges, etc. -- but nothing worked. I knew there had to be more going on, and began researching all his symptoms. I pretty quickly stumbled across Selective Mutism, and it described him to a T.
Through a recommendation, we reached out to Kristin. She was nothing short of amazing. She was the first professional who took us seriously when we suggested he was more than shy. Initially, my son wouldn’t talk to Kristin, but after a few sessions, she had him talking freely and comfortably to her. Once she established a trusted relationship with him, she moved his sessions to his school. She started by getting him to talk on the school grounds but far from his class, and slowly progressed to his classroom. It was amazing to see him finally be able to talk in school. Once he was comfortable talking in the school, she began helping him talk to his teacher and classmates.
It was a slow process, but I am so proud to say my son is now 100% verbal everywhere. He goes to school with a smile on his face, has a bunch of close friends, and happily talks to everyone. He is a completely different child!
I have absolutely no doubt that without Kristin’s expertise and care for my son, he would still be silent and anxiety ridden at school. She is the reason he is happy and excited to go to school every morning.