I have a student who is four years old. She speaks at home and in class but only to other children. If she sees me near her she wont speak to the other children. She never speaks to me, my assistant or any other adult in my class room. I was told by her mother she did this in Nursery school. Is this a sign of selective mutism. I am a little confussed. I hear and read child with that condition usually don't speak at all in class. My student will just not teachers. I need some help. Any ideas on what I can do in class to help her.
It would be fair to regard this little girl's behavior as an example of selective mutism. What you can do in the classroom is organize some activities that require the teacher's presence and some prompting, but depend for the most part on the children speaking with one another, rather than directly to the teacher. In other words, take advantage of the circumstance under which she is more comfortable to speak. It may go without saying, but be sure not to pressure her or inject stress into the situation.
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