Sharing Concerns With Parents

If you think that one of your students might have selective mutism, you should share your observations with his parents. What you have to say may come as a shock, since parents are used to their kids being chatty at home and might not have seen the behavior that you are seeing at school. So make your observations specific enough that parents get a clear picture of their child’s struggle, and what he’s missing out on.

For example: “I’m really glad he speaks at home, but I want to make sure you know what we’re seeing at school. Your son comes to circle time, but isn’t able to participate. When it’s his turn to tell us what the weather is, he clams up. He looks like he wants to respond but can’t.”

Parents might need time to process what you are sharing or want to give the child more time to see if he will become more verbal. These are both totally normal and reasonable reactions. However, if the child continues not making progress and his parents aren’t being open to what you have to say, you might want to bring in the school psychologist or another member of the school staff or administration who can meet with the parents and discuss again what is happening in the classroom.