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Our struggles with SM

Posted by on Jul. 29, 2007 at 8:23 PM
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My name is Dee and my 10 year old daughter, Sara has been diagnosed as Selective Mutism with Extreme Anxiety disorder.  Here is our story.

Sara has always been a very shy and would stick next to me like glue.  As a baby if I so much as left the room she would go balistic even if my husband was in the room.  She always wanted "Mommy"  At the time I thought "WOW she really loves me"  it didn't dawn on me that this was the beginning of a major problem.  Sara is a very sweet, loveable, thoughtful little girl. She was finally conforable enough to let me out of her site but would only stay with a small group of family members.  She would only talk to 3 men, (her father, grandfather and great grandfather) any other man would have her hiding and crying.  We then thought maybe someone (a man) had done something to her.  We took her to psyclologist after psychologist but all they wanted to do was play therapy.  We did come to the conclusion there was no abuse and she was just "very shy".  (Sorry in my book that is not a good enough diagnosis.)
 As she got older she would sit on the sidelines and just watch everyone else have fun. To see her struggling and being so different from other children was absolutely heart breaking.  She was missing out on so much and it was having a negative effect on her life in every way.  She went to school, had birthday parties (which she would be in the corner for most of it) but for the most part would be a loner. 
Finally, when Sara was in 3rd grade her school counseler suggested we go to a workshop at Temple U.  My husband and I reluctantly went on the 45 min ride and sat through the 3  hour work shop.  It was as if they were talking about Sara.  It was as if they had a crystal ball and were watching our daughter.  We were so releived to find out that  there was a diagnosis for what Sara was going through and she wasn't "Very Shy".  We met with the theropist every week for 9 mths and Sara has done a complete 360.  She still has little bouts but has learned some valuable tools on what to do.  She now orders her own food at a restaurant and will occasionally flag the waitress down for ketchup.  She now participates at parties and speaks her mind.  She still has a long way to go but is on the right road.
I am so thankful that Becky has started this support group and I hope it helps a lot people.

I am also very glad to here that a special little cutie is on her way to recovery and hope nothing but the best for her.

Thank GOD!!!! 

by on Jul. 29, 2007 at 8:23 PM
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Replies (1-2):
by Member on Jul. 30, 2007 at 8:06 PM
welcome to the group. I'm glad to hear it gets easier. my daughter is only 6 and we are just now where she will shake her head yes and no for teachers. nice to meet you!!!
by New Member on Aug. 2, 2007 at 7:01 PM

Nice to meet you as well.  I am glad to here that Jennifer is making some progress (as scary as it may be for her) it is a step in the right direction.  Have you tried anxiety therapy?  Sara, my daughter went to Temple University where they focused on the anxiety only.  Let me tell you what a difference. 

I remember those days of the head nodding and before you know it they have a sign language all their own.  The funny part is you and everyone else will understand what she is saying and she didn't even have to say a thing.

Children with SM are actually very intelligent even though they may struggle in school they are still extremely intellect.

Just don't give up and be patient.  Patience and understanding is a big part of her overcoming this.

Keep in touch.


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