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Do you recommend group sports for children with Selective Mutism?

October 10, 2008 2 comments

I got a question from a reader that asked: If I recommended group sports for my child who had selective mutism.  The answer for my child was Yes.  I did enroll him in group sports. Some group sports where better to try than others, for a child with selective mutism.  He did not speak at school, so as long as the children that he associated with at school did not participate, he spoke, if they were they were on this team he did not speak.  Selective mustim has a strange line of speaking and non speaking.  The coach was also part of the equation, a loud coach, he would not talk, a soft spoken coach, he would.

We tried all sorts of sports group and not group, in hopes it it would cause a break through with this speech.  It did not, but he liked doing the activity.

Group sports where he was on a team and running in a group worked well.  Soccer was our first try.  He got lost in the group. Tag football, he loved it.  Baseball, not so much.  He could not handle the spotlight of him stepping up to the plate and swinging.  Basketball was a good choice.  He never yelled to get the ball.  Lots of arm waving. Swimming not so much, same issue of the starting line focus was too much for him.  Running, did not like it, he was fast but could not handle when he lost. 

So all in all.  See what your child is comfortable with.  We started many seasons and did not finish. Others were great and he stayed all season and he grew a lot for having the experience.

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