I have written this blog to chronicle for others the paths we took with our son who had Selective Mutism, it starts at the bottom of the posts and reads up. I have recently asked my son of what he remembers about the condition and would he remember at all that he was selectively mute?
It turns out he does remember and he remembers it in pieces, but not all pieces. He remembers not talking in school, but not that we took him to a psychologist. He remembers that we tried a lot of things, but is not sure what we did. He remembers teachers coming to visit at the house, but he did not remember that we had a family member who was a school teacher come to observe him in the classroom setting. It is a real patch work of memories.
I also came across a picture of him with other students in his preschool the other day and the blank look on his face was clearly there, and he was participating by hitting a pinata. This was so typical of a selectively mute child to participate but in silence. His face changed dramatically from happy engaged child driving to school to a blank expressionless zombie face every day he was in pre school.
He remembers it as the way he was, he remembers clearly when the mutism broke. He remembers when the things broke on the table and from that time on he could speak.
I will ask him to chronicle it from his remembrance when he is older. Someday I will ask him to add to the blog. But at the moment he is not looking back and his future is very bright. He already in jr. high knows he wants to go to college at Standford or Harvard and we know he has the will, the brains and the voice to get there.
When I started this blog I never imagined it would have as many who seek it out or that I would have so much to tell on the subject.
So yes we did remind our son that he had selective mutism and he was not bothered in the least.
Be sure to start at the beginning of the Archives in Feb and read forward by month to get the full picture of selective mutism, what happened and how it was overcome.
Kindergarten first day was an anxious for us as it was for him.. Actually I think he did better. We spoke to the teacher on the first day, told her of the situation and asked that she tell him ahead of time what they would be doing, watch for any anxiousness on his part and crossed our fingers. Was the selective mustim gone or would it reappear in this new school setting?
The teacher said he was quiet, but did interact and did speak to her and to another child. Good news…day one. The school year progressed and he did very well, still very cautious and somewhat shy but he was speaking and interacting. The teacher was hoping for more interaction and participation, but with all that had gone on for the past 3 years we were thrilled.
One day his teacher called in sick and he had a set back, and was very upset, but other than that, the I’m Sorry stayed verbal and so did his words. When she returned so did the words.
He completed kindergarten with flying colors. My desire was to move him into an accelerated program for first grade that the school offered. He had not been accepted on the first round. I am not sure why, but he was not, so I asked his kindergarten teacher to keep and eye out and if an opening happened, we would want to put him in this learning family class. This would be a huge leap for him to come into his own. These were the brightest children in the school and the most aggressive and highly participatory parents. I hoped that this would be the next step in having him reach his full potential.
We knew he was bright, we just did not know if the pressure of setting the bar higher would make him soar or retreat into his world of selective mutism. As I have all along this journey, I wanted the best for him and for nothing to stand-in his way. Could I expect the same from him as I could from a child with out this condition?
The gift of saying the words I’m Sorry, changed his life and his words for ever. The selective mutism was gone.
My son looked shocked at what had happened. I calmly took him into the living room and started showing him the shards of glass and pieces of bowls. I told him if there was ever a day to say you’re sorry- this would be it. He started by spelling out S_O_R_R_Y, mommy, I know I should not have done that, mommy. His brother came in to find his clay art project that we so proudly displayed also in smashed pieces. He was not happy and his brother knew it. S-o-r-r-y , s-o-r-r-y, he spelled over and over again.
There was something in me that wanted to push the issue at this time. Perhaps if he would not speak at school, perhaps we could gain closure on the I’m sorry speak at home issue. I started by talking to him and telling him how sad I was, picking up the shards of glass and letting them fall through my hands. I kept calmly telling him that if there ever was a time to say you’re sorry this was it. An hour went on, we cried, discussed the incident, and discussed why he could not say he was sorry. This looked at though it was going to be another dead-end. My husband came in and said that I was pushing him too far and that I should stop and let it go. I did not.
Another hour went by and no progress, then just when I was about to give up… my son started to say something. In a very low tone, not in his own voice, it came out, slowly, I-I_mmmm, s-ooorrrreee in a very deep voice. What what did you say? I could hardly believe my ears; did I hear what I think I have just heard? My husband came into the room in time to hear him say again in this very deep voice and very slow as if it was difficult to get it out, I—mmmm Soorr–eee.
We were overjoyed. To hear I’m sorry, said in words, it what we had waited to hear for the past 3 and a half of his 5 years. There it was, he said it. We praised him, and asked him if he could say the same thing to his brother. His brother came in and this time he said, I’m Sorry, I broke your art project,…. it was clear and distinct now, in regular speech page and in his own voice and tone. He brother was amazed; hey mom, he said it, finally a break through.
If you ask me what I think happened, I think the trauma of breaking the crystal caused some connection in his brain to connect, that were disconnected. It was like a switch was finally connected and information was now flowing normally. But for how long, would this be a one-time event? Would it affect his selective mutism. It was late and tomorrow would tell us more.
Good night Mommy, I’m so sorry for breaking your things. It brought the biggest smile to my face in a long time. To me it was worth breaking everything we owned to have a day like that. The words I’m Sorry Mommy was a gift that was finally here.
My voice is now partially back and perhaps that is the subject of today’s blog.
Since regular medicine was not working on my son with selective mutism, we started to look at Alternative Medicine Our journey out of regular medicine to hopefully find a path to his recovery. At least we hoped.
At first, it lead me to read a lot on the web site in what was known about the condition. We called and got an appointment with a homeopath who was very well referred. It again took 6 weeks to get an appointment. No insurance taken and cash paid We arrived not knowing what to expect. I was so hopeful, my husband was very hard headed and thought this path was going to be a bunch of crock. Perhaps we were both correct.
The waiting room was full and there was a room off to the side that seemed to be an area where the formulars for healing were being dispensed. Many would come to the window, they would mix up a special liquid, place it in a brown glass bottle and they would leave. Humm
We met Dr. B and he asked all the normal questions. After about 20 minutes, he said lead us to his work area and said, lets get started.
Get started, what did that mean? We went to a chair where he asked me to sit down and put clay beads around my neck. Placed a probe on my finger and asked me to hold my son. WHAT!!!
He explained that the beads would neutralize my energy and my sons energy would come through and he could register the voltage based on putting the probe in different bottles he had and come up with a diagnosis.
I was still hopeful, my husband had checked out mentally at this point. My husband looked at this a quackery, I looked at it as a chance we had to take. I was measured and tested and after 15 minutes asked us to join him in his office.
When we got in there, we asked him did he know of selective mutism. No… in my mind I said, a bad sign
He did accurately told us us our son had a respiratory issue and suggested for the selective mutism or unknown issues we were having with our son, the paths of regression hypnosis and cranial chiropractic. HUH.. What … regress my son back to a past life?… yes.. he said, or a head chiropractor. Yes correct.
What will that do? I think the plates covering his brain are pressing causing the issue. OK and who does this? A cranial chiropractor. I had never heard of such a thing.
He then gave us a whole bunch of info that was written on a paper bag and filled the bag with assorted herbs to try with this issue.
Since I did not want a child of 4 going to be regressed into a pass life of who knows what, we opted for the cranial chiropractor. It would be another 2 weeks until we could get in…