My 3-year-old daughter has started playschool 6 months ago. She has lot friends back home and is the most popular one. She enjoys dancing, singing, pretend play, but at school she does not seem to be participating quite well. She gets pretty uncomfortable around new people, new settings and refuses to greet anyone when asked to. Is this normal? She clings to me at parties. I am planning to visit her teacher to know whether she is completely mute at school or only shy.
Hi Britney, I have two nieces that use to completely go mute around other people aside from their family. When at home they are as talkative as can be. They are 11 and 8 years old now. The 8 year old was retained in grade k. Not because she didn't know the work but because when tested would not speak at all. The 11 year old has been retained in the pass for the same reason. One year the other children and teachers at school thought that she didn't speak English and some would point at things or talk really slooowly and loud when trying to communicate with her.
Since last year they are both still a little shy in public but they now talk in school. They are older than your daughter and realize that becoming mute at school will cost them another year.
You might want to google Selective Mutism and see if it describes your dd.
I suspect your child is suffering from anxiety. If she is mute (even partially) at school, this is a severe form of anxiety (usually social anxiety) called selective mutism. The best site on the internet is "selectivemutism.org" and I suggest you read the FAQ's first to see if this description is similar to that of your daughter. There are many books and articles on this site that can offer advice re intervention, therapy and other methods of treatment under the headings "Resources" and "Find Help". One of the best books for such a young child is "The Ideal Classroom Setting for the Selectively Mute Child" by Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum which I would suggest you purchase and give to your child's teacher (you will probably require this book when your daughter begins elementary school for the staff there).
Please do not hesitate to get help for your daughter as younger children with anxiety usually respond to intervention and therapy easier and quicker than older children. From your description, it does not sound as if your child is "severe" in her mutism; however, do not neglect getting her help as this anxiety will not go away nor will your daughter outgrow it. If you have any questions, please write. I wish you the best ....
Thanks for your response. I recently met her teacher and seems to be doing fine at school. She participates in most of sessions and is lively. We are planning to put her into montessori next year. From what her teacher told me, she seems to be having a good relation with her peers and is interactive. At present I am giving her a herbal medication which reduces stress and anxiety level in children. I am keeping in touch with her teacher and would seek professional help if I suspect anything wrong.
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