Violet Crown Posted September 26, 2012 Share Posted September 26, 2012 First an apology to Mary Ellen - I haven't checked in for a while, and missed your question about other selectively mute children. And I suppose I was feeling that we weren't seeing any progress. Well today Wee Girl must have felt it was time. I dropped her off at her Montessori class (2 hrs, one morning a week - last year she needed Middle Girl to be in it with her, this year she is all about doing it herself), and there was a new assistant instead of her beloved Miss Vicki, to whom she would actually speak a few words. I was running late and there was no good opportunity to talk to New Assistant about Wee Girl's inability to talk. When I picked her up, she told me with great annoyance that New Assistant had insisted she must wear her name tag, even though she had told her twice that she didn't like how the pin made holes in her nice dress. I asked a few questions and confirmed that she had managed entire phrases with an adult she doesn't know. I was just blown away. (Of course there's still the issue that New Assistant couldn't understand her speech, but one issue at a time.) Then in the afternoon, we dropped off Middle Girl and went to hang out at the nearby library and do some reading and writing lessons. All our pencils were dull, and I asked her to stay while I asked the librarian at the desk where the sharpener was. Suddenly she jumped up and announced she would go ask. I hid my scepticism and told her that was fine. Mommy, come with me. Sure. Mommy, will you ask instead? No, but I'll help ask. (Tears, paralysis. Back to our seat.) No, I do want you to help me ask. Do you want to practice here first? No, I just want to go ask and you help me. (Off to the desk.) Me: We're looking for something. Librarian (to me): Yes, what are you looking for? (Silence. Puzzlement. Subtle gestures of Mommy's head toward Wee Girl. Librarian cottons on.) Librarian (to Wee Girl): What were you looking for? Wee Girl (tiny voice): ... pencil sharpener... Mommy (mouthing words): PENCIL SHARPENER. Librarian: Oh yes! We have two pencil sharpeners.... Anyway Wee Girl was ebullient, jubilant, exultant in her victory over fear. As I dug out the long-neglected sticker book for speaking-reward stickers, she plotted her next librarian speech act. She considered and rejected "goodbye" on the grounds that we would then have to leave. I suggested I might have to use the bathroom, and she pulled me over to the desk for a repeat of the odd little dialogue with (thankfully) a different librarian. This time when the librarian couldn't make out the whisper, she repeated it more loudly. Please understand that in all five years of Wee Girl's life, she has never managed to speak directly to a stranger at a desk or counter. Then her tour de force. Her most anxiety-provoking verbal situation has always been purely social speech such as hello, goodbye, thank you, you're welcome, excuse me. (My theory is that it's her sensing the social pressure to produce these.) So we go to check out her books in the usual silence, and the librarian gives them to her saying "thank you" - and Wee Girl says, clearly and at normal volume, "Thank you." :party: As we walk to the van, she asks "So how many stickers do I get for that? I am so happy tonight. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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