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Avatar universal

My daugher won't speak to her teachers

My daughter is in kindergarten and loves it.  She is very social and is friends with everyone in her class.  She loves her teachers but never speaks to them.  If asked a question in a group setting or in a one on one with one of her teachers she refuses to speak.  If something is bothering her, she will not approach any adult for help.  If I send her to school with something to give her teacher, she won't do it.  He grades are suffering because she won't answer questions by her teacher.  She is very outspoken when she is just working with her peers.  She speaks in all her adult relatives.  What can I do to help her speak with adults.
12 Responses
134578 tn?1546634665
Her grades are suffering?  What kind of grades does she get in kindergarten?

Avatar universal
She is graded on so many things.  Mostly letters, numbers, counting, letter sounds, reading, days of the week, that sort of thing.  She does get a report card.  The way they work is 1-proficient.  2-partially proficient. 3- area of concern. Her last report card she did have several 3s.  Her teacher told me she had no way of knowing if she really knew the imformation or not, because she won't answer her when she asks so she gets a 3.  Her teacher fears she will have a hard time adjusting to first grade.  
377493 tn?1356505749
It sounds like she is intimidated.  Is she this way with other adults outside of her parents or family?  I also wonder if maybe when she has spoken up she was not acknowledged or told she was wrong?  Just guessing here, but that might make her afraid to speak up.  
973741 tn?1342346373
Hi.  Is your daughter young for her class?  Does she have a summer birthday?  Is this her first school experience or did she attend preschool?  All of these things can make a difference in how she adjusts to a school setting.  

How has your daughter been in other situations with adults she didn't know well?  How does she get along with your friends or parents of her play mates?  Is this new for her to have this anxiety over speaking to a teacher?

As a child, I was extremely shy (my husband doesn't believe me . . . LOL) and this was an area that we constantly worked on.  When I look back at my Kinder and 1st grade report card, there was constant correspondance about my progress to talk in class.  But I was a shy child over all.  

Does your daughter do the written work in the classroom?  My son is in kindergarten and they have writer's workshop, and math sheets, and all kinds of written things to back up what they are learning.  They do read to the teacher which I guess you are saying your daughter will not do.  Would she read to another child with the teacher conveniently listening?  Oh, and when at home----------- can she do all the material at school with no problem?  

I would volunteer in the class and see what you think is going on.  Always speak highly of school and try not to make her feel funny for not talking which compounds the problem.  She may be anxious and self conscious and you do not want to add to it.  

And if there is a suggestion to repeat kindergarten, it is not an awful thing.  It is the absolute best year to repeat and having her get the right start to her school career is important.  Work with the school to find the best answer.  good luck
Avatar universal
I suspect your daughter suffers from "selective mutism".  It is one of the behaviours of anxiety.  The best site on the internet for information is "selectivemutism.org" where I might suggest you begin by reading the FAQ's.  The fact that your daughter speaks to her peers is very good news - it means her anxiety is not overly severe. By the way, if sm (shortform for selective mutism) is the issue, your daughter is not "refusing" to speak; she is "unable" to speak due to her perceived unsafe and uncomfortable environment.  

At this point, the best thing that you can do is educate yourself on this disorder and then be patient with your daughter (but don't get into the habit of coddling her or covering for her).  One of the best books you can get to help your teacher (as well as yourself) understand this disorder is "The Ideal Classroom Setting for the Selectively Mute Child" by Elisa Shipon-**** (can be purchased on-line, bookstores or borrowed from your public library - maybe the school district would purchase a copy for their professional library).  There are many ways a selectively mute child can be evaluated without speach; the teaching staff just need to be made aware and this book will aid them.  

If you feel that sm might be the issue with your daughter and have any questions, please feel free to write.  All the best ....
134578 tn?1546634665
She might be quite intimidated by all the grading, and the emphasis placed on it.  It could lead to the kind of issues people are writing about.
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