I think a milestone should be added today to this blog. My son graduated Jr. High, will be a freshman next year and had a 4.0. For a kid who could not put two words together during pre school, this is a milestone.
He talks, he talks too much, he is popular, words that if you had asked me 10 years ago, I would of said how, he never speaks a word to any of his class mates. He has tons of friends today. The selective mutism never came back, but there are still hangovers to those days. He is a perfectionist and it is his way or the highway.
He will be a teacher, lawyer or preacher when he grows up, his word are so spot on. The kids at school call him Dr. >>>>, like Dr. Phil since he can tell them what in their life is not working and get them on the right track. Parents call him the voice of reason. They always know they can go to him to find out what really went on. Words are a big part of his life. He is a very good writer. It comes easily to him. Sometimes I think for all the early struggles, it should be easy. Time will tell.
I still sit in amazement at how far we have come and how many paths we went down. Always fearing every grade that it would re-appear, luckily it did not. How many teacher I had to train on what it was. How many feared it and tried to put him in a ” special class”. How many were annoyed that they would have to have a child with Selective Mutism who turned out to be gifted.
So instead of going down the path they wanted him to go, I had to bully my way up. I mean fight hard for him, fighting with the school administration, talking with state administrators who did not want to fund his alt test. Funding it ourselves and finding out we were right all along.
The point was he was not mute and dumb, he was selectively mute and brilliant. People have to learn the difference. Einstein did not speak until he was 5. That piece of info carried me through many a dark day. Helen Keller was blind deaf and mute, but not stupid. My son did not speak at school, but did at home, so I saw different child then they say everyday.
So my advice and why I wrote this blog was to help others, since I had no road map. Do not give up on your child, Dont’ ever give up, follow your gut, and do what you can do to make it right.
The next day with gifted letter in hand, I cautiously went to drop it off at the principals office. Since I had already had many meetings that were fruitless with her, I was sceptical, but hopeful. I handled the letter stating he was designated gifted and she looked at it and said, OK we will have him moved into the gifted class tomorrow and your will have a IEP written and to you within the week.
It was so sweet music to my ears, after all the years of no’s, all the …we will not move him, we cannot move him, we will do nothing more. To hear yes…. and with action steps. The hours and hours, the meetings and the delays were finally worth it.
The parents who told me to think of the gifted and IEP designation as Ruby Red slippers was correct. It was exactly what he needed. He moved classes and he did great. He did more than great, he thrived instead of dying under a system of bureaucracy. A system that is focused on no child left behind, was failing since they were leaving my child behind and it did not seem to phase them, since he was above grade level they felt it was not needed. He was smart, he just had anxiety and had selective mutism in his younger years.
The question was, once he spoke at school, if we should push him up to higher class in the same grade level and would he revert? It was what we thought he needed, not what the school policy was. We were right, our gut was right. We did act and give him the chance to succeed and we did push and it was worth it for him. Trust your gut when it comes to your child.
The push was the right move. The expense was worth it. He was pulled out for reading and math and non verbal and continued in his regular class room. He was still way above grade level. There was a gifted only school in the district, that they suggested we look at sending him to. We felt it was better to have him be socially comfortable. This also proved for him to be the best combination. Once you have the designation, you stay the program, unless the grades or behavior deems that they will not place them the next year. He was placed in the gifted program every year. The Gifted IEP that was written with accommodations made all the difference.
It was suggested that he skip a grade and be moved up a grade to be taught at that grade level. We rejected that as an option, since he needed to be with his own age group for social aspects.
I did look today at the Generation Rescue web site to see what other info could be learned. I was stunned to see the passage below that was on their web site for Generationrescue.org. As I read, I could check all of the things listed, and that I had chronicled in my blog that I saw and experienced with my son with selective mutism. I have underlined them below. This info below was written for autism, but all of them applied to my son with selective mustism. I really do not know why this would be the case, but it is. I will keep searching for answers.
Was there a detoxofication of my child that I was doing and not aware that it was of benefit. I was very focused on this diet at that time, since I felt there may be a connection. I had at the time had the homeopath rule out mercury or metals. He did have him add flax oils to his diet. Perhaps the pieces came together by accident?
This is a quote from Generationrescue.org:
|Treatment: What’s Biomedical Treatment?|
|Childhood Neurological Disorders (NDs) are typically diagnosed by professionals with psychology and psychiatry backgrounds. Parents are often told that their children’s diagnosis is the result of genes and is psychological in nature. Typical “psychological” manifestations of these NDs in children may include delayed speech, lack of eye contact, impaired or non-present social skills, shyness, perseverative behavior (doing the same thing repeatedly), delayed gross or fine motor skills, sensory integration issues (sound and touch sensitivity, etc.), not responding to one’s name, inflexibility with transitions, and major, often unexplained, changes in mood.|
|Yet, the physical or medical issues that our children often share are rarely noted or discussed. Typical physical manifestations of children with NDs may include food allergies and eczema, general gastrointestinal distress, constipation and diarrhea, yeast overgrowth, immune system disregulation, and sleep disturbances. Typically, proper testing would also reveal high levels of environmental toxins relative to neurotypical children.|
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.