I fought the medication for a long time. All the research I did for selective mutism said that the best option was anxiety medication. When you have a child already on meds you really don't like to add another one. We put if off. We tried positive behavior interventions, did a single case design study with very limited success (combined that with a school project). We have had her to a play therapist (worthless) and started her early in school and speech.
The early school with speech helped a little. By the end of last year we were able to get her to the point where she may respond to a direct question.....if she has known you for about 8 months. She still would not initiate conversation or even ask to go to the bathroom.
So, this past summer we took the big step and got Larissa medicated for anxiety. Guess what?! It worked. If you were to meet Larissa today you may think that she was a little shy, depending on the circumstances maybe not!
Yesterday her speech teacher called me to remind me of her IEP meeting on Monday. She seemed hesitant so I said what I thought she was planning on saying......I assume that we are going to be discontinuing services since she no longer needs speech. She seemed relieved and said that she felt that speech services were no longer needed. She also wanted to talk to me about Larissa's history. I guess she was surprised at Larissa's ability to talk given her diagnosis.
I told her about the accidents last year because she couldn't ask to go to the bathroom. How she couldn't initiate a conversation with an adult. How as a baby she never waved to people, never tried to gain their attention in any way. How we have had people ask if she had autism. What all we tried to help her. Then I told her the biggest change was after starting her on anxiety medication.
She told me that she had done research and found the same thing. Asked how I got her diagnosed and medicated. I gave her all my contacts. There aren't many out there familiar with SM. Then she told me that she has another student with SM and the description I gave her of Larissa last year fit this child. She couldn't tell me who the student was. I told her that she could feel free to give them my information if they needed any type of information. I do hope that they contact me. A year ago I wouldn't have pushed medication. However, after watching Larissa learn how to speak up for herself this year, I do suggest the use of anxiety medication.
So, do I say that she is now in selective mutism recovery?
I will be greatly pleased to go Monday and sign the papers taking Larissa out of speech.