Saturday, August 13, 2011

Will Homeschooling Help the Anxious Child?

We at The Selectively Silent Child are always here to answer your questions about SM.

Anita recently sent us a question about homeschooling, which seems like a hot topic lately, so it’s definitely worth discussing. Below, you’ll find Anita’s question and my answer.

Subject: Homeschooling

Is homeschooling a good option if the child is mute and extremely nervous at school? Anyone homeschools [sic] his/her SM child here?


Hi Anita,

Is your child’s academic performance suffering? If so, homeschool may be a good idea, because less anxiety would mean more opportunity for him to focus on school rather than his fears. If his marks are fine, though, his Mutism should be your main worry.

It’s tempting to homeschool because you, as a parent want to take your child’s pain away. But extracting from his life whatever triggers his anxiety is only a short-term cure.

While homeschooling would ease your child’s anxiety because he would be removed from the setting that makes him anxious, the problem itself (social anxiety) would not be solved.

Watching your child suffer in silence is more painful than anything you’ve ever experienced. As frustrating as it is to hear, you have to stick it out. Learn coping strategies together. Try to get into therapy. Read as much about Selective Mutism as you possibly can.

As terrified as you and your child are now, things will get better. As a former sufferer of Selective Mutism, I promise it is possible to get through it.

So, readers, Anita and I turn to you:
Have you homeschooled your children? Were you ever homeschooled?

The Selectively Silent Child would love to hear from you!

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