1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Helping a kid with selective mutisim

Discussion in 'Classroom' started by Trekie, 10 Oct 2016.

  1. Trekie

    Trekie Thread Starter Member

    Joined:
    5 Jan 2016
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    13
    Not come across this SEN in class before until this year so any tips would be appreciated. The child is in grade 1 and has made great progress IMO- going from shy and withdrawn to wanting to take part in class activities, particularly ones that involve TPR. Seeing this growth has been wonderful but the school wants him to start talking. There is little to no understanding of SENs in Myanmar- the country was shut for decades and it really shows in some areas. Has anyone else taught a kid with selective mutisim?
     
    bahn_farang likes this.
  2. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21 Feb 2011
    Messages:
    5,749
    Likes Received:
    724
    Selective mutism is not a term I had heard before your post, so I have learnt something today.

    I would throw a guess that the situation is common in Thailand where the power divide is wide between the students and teachers. I am going to hit the books and report back.

    Thank you again for the post
     
    Stamp likes this.
  3. Trekie

    Trekie Thread Starter Member

    Joined:
    5 Jan 2016
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    13
    First and foremost it's an anxiety disorder where the child is mute in certain situations and people- often stemming from past experiences. Now that the kids are on holiday for a bit I have finally had the time to sit down with his student record and chat with some more of his teachers. Joined us in kindergarten after a rather bad time of it at a local school (I teach at an international school) which is where I would imagine the fear started. Physical punishment is normal in local schools- even preschools- the mind boggle. I regard seeing him running around the playground, making friends and taking part in class as huge progress- something I mentioned in his report card. I'm sure speaking will come soon enough but the school is impatient. One of the things I have never been able to adjust to here in SE Asia is biting my tongue when dealing with admin, and to put it bluntly, there ignorance on such matters. Intended or not, it is obviously damaging for students. Rant over,sorry.
     
    fred flintstone and Stamp like this.
  4. po3try

    po3try Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    11 Mar 2014
    Messages:
    524
    Likes Received:
    222
    there's no way to force students to talk until they are ready.

    similar to your situation is the silent phase in additional language learning. had one last year that just came out of it, couldn't shut him up by the end of the year :hilarious

    Choice Literacy - Articles & Videos - Full Article
     
    Stamp and Trekie like this.
  5. evl

    evl Active Member

    Joined:
    8 Aug 2013
    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    32
    I don't have any experience of it but I do recall hearing that forcing a child to speak will not help (I'd imagine it would only compound the anxiety) and speaking will come naturally when they're ready.

    You didn't say under what circumstances he is mute, but I'd try getting him to speak more when he does if possible (or providing more of those opportunities) and gradually building up from there. If he's mute in situations like being in front of the whole class then I'd avoid that and try to get him talking to the teacher 1-on-1 first about something the child wants to communicate about. If he has friends that he talks to more then I'd encourage that and try to pair him with some of the more outgoing ones as a model for him to follow and as a way to have group chats that could involve him too.
     
    Trekie likes this.
  6. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21 Feb 2011
    Messages:
    5,749
    Likes Received:
    724
    edited
     
    Last edited: 10 Oct 2016

Share This Page