Selective Mutism......have you heard of it? I hadn't until about 18months ago. Our baby Larissa was our foster child at the time and we had concerns. As a baby she did not wave at anyone, she just never developed that skill. As she got older we came to realize that she wouldn't talk to anyone outside of our family. We had seen shy before but this went beyond shyness.
Someone on one of my support groups threw out selective mutism to me. I did lots of reading on the subject and realized that this was what we may be dealing with. She was young for a diagnosis but dealing with is while they are young helps.
When Larissa turned 3 years old she started in an early intervention program at the local public school. She continues to attend such a program here in Texas. Selective mutism is real and can be debilitating. I just had a meeting with her teachers. Her speech teacher said that she had just recently heard Larissa say her first sentence.....she has been working with her since school started in August. She was so excited that she finally got her to say something to her. At home, she talks up a storm, she does not have a speech problem when she is with her family.
Selective mutism is actually an anxiety issue. However, Larissa's speech teacher pointed out that it turns into a speech issue because they don't develop proper social speech. If you have concerns about a child that won't speak in public, check out selective mutism. Early intervention can make a big difference for the child. Our hope is that one day Larissa will be able to respond to her teachers on a regular basis.