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What therapy’s help with selective mutism / anxiety?

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#1 Puppy Love

Posted 13 January 2020 - 10:46 AM

Hi there,
I have a five-year-old who started Kindy last year & had trouble settling in as she has a fear of everything i.e. going to school, trying to read, class speeches.
We have started seeing a phycologist – who has suggested to use smiling minds app
Also starting therapy:
OT social classes
Speech therapy

Is there anything else I’m missing, or you’d recommended from experience, she had a cognitive test & was 92% in the non-verbal category & 32% in the verbal category. We are in Sydney & keen to make this year a lot better for her….

Thanks for reading

#2 lizzzard

Posted 13 January 2020 - 12:02 PM

Our DS11 was (re)diagnosed with SM about 18 months ago. He was first diagnosed at 5. At first we were hoping he’d ‘grow out of it’ (many kids do) but on our case this didn’t happen and it’s had an increasing impact on his academic progress.

A couple of suggestions
1. If you are in Sydney there is a specialist SM clinic at St Leonard’s. I strongly recommend considering seeking their advice. We have seen several generalist child psychs but SM is a very difficult condition to treat without specialist techniques
2. The classroom teacher can make or break things for a child with SM. We have unfortunately had some horrendously bad ‘fits’ which set us back years (I’m not kidding). I suggest getting the school/ teacher to talk to the psychologist at the beginning of the year and then schedule regular check ins.
3. The biggest success factor for us was creating a safe environment for DS - at home and school. This is why the teacher is so important but it also needs careful parenting

Good luck... I hope you make progress this year :)

Edited by lizzzard, 13 January 2020 - 12:04 PM.

#3 Puppy Love

Posted 13 January 2020 - 01:53 PM

Thanks Lizzzard, that is helpful.
We were lucky enough to find out her teacher for this year last year & feels like a good fit for the year :grin:

#4 KA

Posted 14 January 2020 - 01:37 PM

I also recommend the Selective Mutism clinic. There is a specific strategy called ‘Sliding In’ that I have had experience with as a teacher. It is not a quick fix but I have experienced success with it. It is time intensive and you need a teacher who is prepared to do the three sessions outside of class time on a weekly basis.

I highly recommend asking your school for an Individual Adjustment Plan with very specific goals that the Selective Mutism clinic could assist with.

Wishing you every success.

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