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  #1  
Old 09-09-2015, 09:27 AM
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Default Delivering Not So Good News?

I'm having an issue needing to deliver some not so good news to a family. I not too sure what or how to say it.

I have a dck that has been wit me for 1.5 years. Sweet, kind, gentle little guy.He is very happy when he is here, dances, laughs and you can tell he is having a great time. He has been through a lot in his little life. he is 3.5, last year parents divorced. It seemed like the parents were all on the same page, but then it all fell apart and I could see dck fall apart too.

since the child has been here, he has yet to really talk to any of us. Only if we pull it out of him, which we have stopped doing. When he does talk its almost a whisper and on word answers.

He does not talk to staff, he does not talk to other kids. The other kids often get angry at him and say to him, why won't you answer me. I ask him daily are you going to talk with us today and he will always shake his head no. normally we have 12 kids for preschool each day. we break down into small groups, still nothing. not one word, he won't talk.

earlier this year we had IGDI evals on communication and the dck was not even on the radar with communication. Realistically, he was too old for it, but since he does not talk, we could not complete the other eval, which required talking from the child. I talked to the parents about it then and they said everything is fine.


My issue is that I don't know how to meet this child's needs. Despite what the parents think, I know that something is wrong. I see kids all day every day and I have yet to meet a happy , healthy 3.5 year old that does not talk. ALL of my staff can see the anxiety in the child, it's sad.

I don't need a diagnosis, or a label. I need to know how I can connect with him, how to teach him, after all, we are a preschool. i want to see him grow here in my program, but I don't know what to do with him or how I can help him. I love this kid, I hate seeing each day the child struggle to get their feelings out and can see the frustration in his little face.

I don't know what else I can say to the parents, but i feel so sad that this poor boy is not getting his needs met. If i knew how to work with him, I know he would be so much better off. But I don' know how to work with him, because parents say everything is ok and won't do anything about it.
They say He talks at home. I am certain he has selected mutisim, but I can't diagnose him and I could be wrong. BUT something definetly is NOT right.

HELP. what else can I do??? Feeling sad, frustrated, angry at the parents and helpless.

thanks
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  #2  
Old 09-09-2015, 09:38 AM
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nannyde nannyde is offline
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Have parents tape his talking at home and show you what he can do.
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  #3  
Old 09-09-2015, 09:51 AM
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Have parents tape his talking at home and show you what he can do.
they have and I see that he does. but once he gets around other people you can see the anxiety in his face and he just shuts down. he absolutely refuses to talk here. AND the thing is that we have all of the same staff but one.. so he has had plenty of time to adjus and connect with the adults. oh and the kids too. other than 5 kids that graduated out, all of the rest are the same kids that have been here since or before he has.
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:54 AM
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daycarediva daycarediva is offline
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Selective mutism or anxiety- either way he needs some therapy.

There isn't much you CAN do. Have you tried the reverse and video taped his having trouble speaking in a small group setting? I think it MIGHT help the parents see the issue at hand.
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by daycarediva View Post
Selective mutism or anxiety- either way he needs some therapy.

There isn't much you CAN do. Have you tried the reverse and video taped his having trouble speaking in a small group setting? I think it MIGHT help the parents see the issue at hand.
yes, but until I get the other parents sign of on letting me show the video with their child in it, I can't share it. This is what i was told....gggeeerrr.
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  #6  
Old 09-09-2015, 10:07 AM
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nothingwithoutjoy nothingwithoutjoy is offline
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How sad for him! And how great that he has you so determined to support him.

Here's a quick brainstorm:
-play with puppets; sometimes, kids will talk through a puppet if not alone
-use sign language as you talk, as you would with a baby, so at least he has some basic signs he can use (stop, no, more, etc), which will cut down on frustration (not assuming he can't/won't ever talk, but to give him an easier step along the way to help him develop confidence)
-read books about kids who are feeling shy/quiet/anxious. A good start is "Chatterbox Jamie," about a boy who talks at home but is silent at preschool (and overcomes it later)
-give him lots of chances to talk w/the group rather than on-the-spot alone (i.e. read nursery rhymes to the group, leaving off end words for them to fill in. He--eventually--might be able to chime in, "lost" in the crowd of voices. Again, a baby step to get there eventually.)
-ditto with songs
-find out what his very favorite things are and read a book about that, or bring out a new toy, or whatever--maybe he'll feel compelled to pipe up with something about that
-give words to what he is expressing as you might with a nonverbal toddler: "it looks like you're feeling frustrated, " or "your big yawn makes me think you must be tired--is that right?"
-give him other ways to express his opinions. Like if there's a choice to be made, he could chose from pictures
-talk, talk, talk without any expectation that he "must" talk back, but leave lots of space and time for him to respond. In other words, always assume he will respond, and allow for it (don't let a label define him), but don't make him feel he's failing if he doesn't.

I think if you ask him if he's going to talk today, it might put a lot of pressure on him--that feeling of being so on the spot that he can't possibly. I would, instead, talk to him very privately (quietly, on his level, so only he can hear) and let him know again and again that you are ready to support him when he is ready to talk. Something like "I know it's been hard for you to talk here sometimes. But I know you have lots of things to say, and whenever you're ready to say them, I'll be ready to listen."

Remember, too, that he doesn't have to speak in order to learn. He only needs to speak to prove on that particular test what he has learned. You can learn a lot about what he knows through observation of his play.
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  #7  
Old 09-09-2015, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nothingwithoutjoy View Post
How sad for him! And how great that he has you so determined to support him.

Here's a quick brainstorm:
-play with puppets; sometimes, kids will talk through a puppet if not alone
-use sign language as you talk, as you would with a baby, so at least he has some basic signs he can use (stop, no, more, etc), which will cut down on frustration (not assuming he can't/won't ever talk, but to give him an easier step along the way to help him develop confidence)
-read books about kids who are feeling shy/quiet/anxious. A good start is "Chatterbox Jamie," about a boy who talks at home but is silent at preschool (and overcomes it later)
-give him lots of chances to talk w/the group rather than on-the-spot alone (i.e. read nursery rhymes to the group, leaving off end words for them to fill in. He--eventually--might be able to chime in, "lost" in the crowd of voices. Again, a baby step to get there eventually.)
-ditto with songs
-find out what his very favorite things are and read a book about that, or bring out a new toy, or whatever--maybe he'll feel compelled to pipe up with something about that
-give words to what he is expressing as you might with a nonverbal toddler: "it looks like you're feeling frustrated, " or "your big yawn makes me think you must be tired--is that right?"
-give him other ways to express his opinions. Like if there's a choice to be made, he could chose from pictures
-talk, talk, talk without any expectation that he "must" talk back, but leave lots of space and time for him to respond. In other words, always assume he will respond, and allow for it (don't let a label define him), but don't make him feel he's failing if he doesn't.

I think if you ask him if he's going to talk today, it might put a lot of pressure on him--that feeling of being so on the spot that he can't possibly. I would, instead, talk to him very privately (quietly, on his level, so only he can hear) and let him know again and again that you are ready to support him when he is ready to talk. Something like "I know it's been hard for you to talk here sometimes. But I know you have lots of things to say, and whenever you're ready to say them, I'll be ready to listen."

Remember, too, that he doesn't have to speak in order to learn. He only needs to speak to prove on that particular test what he has learned. You can learn a lot about what he knows through observation of his play.
exactly what I would do with this little guy! I'd also do a lot of observing/record keeping to see if that would clue me in on anything. Oh and lots of praise for the times he does talk (although that could be a ways down the road).
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:30 AM
Willow Willow is offline
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If this is selective mutism, the goal actually shouldn't be to get him to talk. Emphasis on it will definitely make it worse. I wouldn't ask him if he's going to talk today or allow the other kids to criticize him over it.

It's usually the result of crippling social anxiety, but can also be due to sensory processing disorder (he could be shutting down because there's just too much going on around him).

Does he communicate his needs in other ways? Does he engage with other kids at all or are all of his activities independent? Does he seek out toys or activities during free time or does he appear lost as to what to do with himself when not directed? Is the only piece missing his verbal inabilities or does he struggle in other areas of development and socialization as well?


Unfortunately a daycare setting may not be the best environment for him if his behavior changes so much between there and home.
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nothingwithoutjoy View Post
How sad for him! And how great that he has you so determined to support him.

Here's a quick brainstorm:
-play with puppets; sometimes, kids will talk through a puppet if not alone
-use sign language as you talk, as you would with a baby, so at least he has some basic signs he can use (stop, no, more, etc), which will cut down on frustration (not assuming he can't/won't ever talk, but to give him an easier step along the way to help him develop confidence)
-read books about kids who are feeling shy/quiet/anxious. A good start is "Chatterbox Jamie," about a boy who talks at home but is silent at preschool (and overcomes it later)
-give him lots of chances to talk w/the group rather than on-the-spot alone (i.e. read nursery rhymes to the group, leaving off end words for them to fill in. He--eventually--might be able to chime in, "lost" in the crowd of voices. Again, a baby step to get there eventually.)
-ditto with songs
-find out what his very favorite things are and read a book about that, or bring out a new toy, or whatever--maybe he'll feel compelled to pipe up with something about that
-give words to what he is expressing as you might with a nonverbal toddler: "it looks like you're feeling frustrated, " or "your big yawn makes me think you must be tired--is that right?"
-give him other ways to express his opinions. Like if there's a choice to be made, he could chose from pictures
-talk, talk, talk without any expectation that he "must" talk back, but leave lots of space and time for him to respond. In other words, always assume he will respond, and allow for it (don't let a label define him), but don't make him feel he's failing if he doesn't.

I think if you ask him if he's going to talk today, it might put a lot of pressure on him--that feeling of being so on the spot that he can't possibly. I would, instead, talk to him very privately (quietly, on his level, so only he can hear) and let him know again and again that you are ready to support him when he is ready to talk. Something like "I know it's been hard for you to talk here sometimes. But I know you have lots of things to say, and whenever you're ready to say them, I'll be ready to listen."

Remember, too, that he doesn't have to speak in order to learn. He only needs to speak to prove on that particular test what he has learned. You can learn a lot about what he knows through observation of his play.
Spot on!!!
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  #10  
Old 09-09-2015, 08:32 PM
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Laurel Laurel is offline
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It's hard to say but I definitely would not ask him if he is going to talk today. When I was little I was painfully shy although I did talk. Not much at school but at home was a real chatterbox. The thing I hated most was when someone would say "Cat got your tongue?" I hate that saying to this day. The best thing to do might be to back off. He'll talk when he is comfortable talking and not before unless there is some kind of physical or psychological problem.

Laurel
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  #11  
Old 09-09-2015, 08:34 PM
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Laurel Laurel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nothingwithoutjoy View Post
How sad for him! And how great that he has you so determined to support him.

Here's a quick brainstorm:
-play with puppets; sometimes, kids will talk through a puppet if not alone
-use sign language as you talk, as you would with a baby, so at least he has some basic signs he can use (stop, no, more, etc), which will cut down on frustration (not assuming he can't/won't ever talk, but to give him an easier step along the way to help him develop confidence)
-read books about kids who are feeling shy/quiet/anxious. A good start is "Chatterbox Jamie," about a boy who talks at home but is silent at preschool (and overcomes it later)
-give him lots of chances to talk w/the group rather than on-the-spot alone (i.e. read nursery rhymes to the group, leaving off end words for them to fill in. He--eventually--might be able to chime in, "lost" in the crowd of voices. Again, a baby step to get there eventually.)
-ditto with songs
-find out what his very favorite things are and read a book about that, or bring out a new toy, or whatever--maybe he'll feel compelled to pipe up with something about that
-give words to what he is expressing as you might with a nonverbal toddler: "it looks like you're feeling frustrated, " or "your big yawn makes me think you must be tired--is that right?"
-give him other ways to express his opinions. Like if there's a choice to be made, he could chose from pictures
-talk, talk, talk without any expectation that he "must" talk back, but leave lots of space and time for him to respond. In other words, always assume he will respond, and allow for it (don't let a label define him), but don't make him feel he's failing if he doesn't.

I think if you ask him if he's going to talk today, it might put a lot of pressure on him--that feeling of being so on the spot that he can't possibly. I would, instead, talk to him very privately (quietly, on his level, so only he can hear) and let him know again and again that you are ready to support him when he is ready to talk. Something like "I know it's been hard for you to talk here sometimes. But I know you have lots of things to say, and whenever you're ready to say them, I'll be ready to listen."

Remember, too, that he doesn't have to speak in order to learn. He only needs to speak to prove on that particular test what he has learned. You can learn a lot about what he knows through observation of his play.


Laurel
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