He developed a heightened sense of smell. His early warning system to anxiety.
Time did tell that his selective mutism did not return when he went back to preschool. Some aspects of his control of life did change and became complex. His need to plan the day and his sense of smell became heightened in certain situations.
Planning the day became a big deal in the house. We needed to tell him each morning exactly what was to go on that day. This seemed to give him comfort and if the day turned out to be has we described, he was fine. If the day turned out to be different and not as he would of expected, he would be very anxious and unhappy.
We dropped him off as pre school one day and the teacher got sick and a sub came in. He withdrew and cried. He came home very mad that we had not told him of the change. For years after I would tell his teachers to prepare him in advance for change, if they did not that it would cause him issues.
Another day he was put into another classroom without preparation and that was very unnerving for him. He seemed not to be able to function if the plan changed without some advance notice.
We went on a play date to his friend’s house that had played with him all those years when he did not speak. His friend was delighted he now could speak. We went to his house for the first time. The plan was for me to stay for a while and then leave, to see how he would do. I told my son the plan and he want not happy about me leaving.
We get to the friends house and they greet us. My son walks in and says, This house smells. Mom, I can’t stay, the house smells. I am embarrassed, and I tried to say, oh no there is not smells is this house. At least I could not smell anything. Our friends were horrified, as he continues to say, we have to go, this house smells. After that time, if he was anxious he would tell me it would smell, as a way to tell me he was uncomfortable.
He completed his red shirt preschool year with flying colors, speaking up and now fully participating. The teachers were so pleased with this progress. Kindergarten was now weeks away and all that made him safe and secure to speak was about to change, new school, new friends, how would that effect the fragile hope that the speaking would continue. Was his selective mutism really gone or would it return?