I've fallen off here again. I apologize for my negligence.....not that there's a gargantuan crowd beating down my blog, but I'm indebted to those who do stop to read what I've put up. I surmise this is mostly for my benefit, to see the progression they have made over the years, but for others who are searching for suggestions/answers. I hope you'll find some nugget of truth you can take from here and run with to defend your optimism.
We've endured a long winter season and are happy to emerge to welcome Spring. The kids are overjoyed to feel the warmth of the sunshine outdoors and see their swing set unearthed from the snow.
We've been putting down roots here in our new location. That in itself is a very satisfying feeling. We've found a new psychologist who specializes in treating childhood anxiety. She's not well versed in SM kids but I'm not concerned by her lack of knowledge. She still understands kids and family dynamics. She graduated from a school that taught the Adlerian philosophy. Adler believed that courage was the answer to many of life's problems. There's a book she suggested too that I've enjoyed reading. It's called Positive Discipline A-Z, 1001 solutions to everyday parenting problems. I like it's approach and feel it's given me some insight.
We continue to homeschool and have become relaxed about our schedule and curriculum since we school year round. We began reading aloud the Chronicles of Narnia series and they are so engrossed. They beg me to read it to them. If I may toot my own horn. They're both reading at advanced levels for their age. Yeah us!!! I've not found a large variety of Co Ops in our area however there's a very large homeschooling mom's group I've found helpful. They
meet routinely through play dates, organize independent classes and
share ideas on a social media website. That's how we found and have been attending an art class on Friday mornings. Friday afternoons are then spent meeting with friends or doing other educational things like going to the science museum, or botanical conservatory. It's our girlie day out, have a restaurant lunch and socialize.
As far as the SM goes, they've made some progress. No spontaneous speech on a continual basis, but they will answer multiple choice questions with strangers with a little prompting. They've made strides when we practice being brave by saying "Please" and "Thank you" to whomever we're practicing with. Our initial psychologist said names, please and thank yous are the hardest for SM kids. So I'm thankful we've crossed a hurdle. I believe it's evident the kids are feeling more comfortable in our new surroundings. As we visit friends and family members more consistently, they continue to surprise me with their courage. My sister in law, can get them to answer her questions (multiple choice) without any help from me. On occasion we've let them spend the night there to spend time with their cousins and they follow the other kids giggling and playing with no apprehension. They don't carry on conversations but will answer questions/talk with their cousins spontaneously. GINORMOUS!
I recently stumbled across a research study on www.selectivemutism.org. I called to inquire and quickly decided it was not for us but it prompted me to do some thinking and research on my own. I saw on Dr. Oz the benefits of using chamomile to treat anxiety. This is the study I think Dr. Oz is referring to, not sure. Here's another article I found explaining chamomile's benefits. Chamomile has had a long history of treatment in a variety of ailments, it is even used to treat upset tummies in babies with no reported side effects. In this article I read children only need a third of an adult dose. The kids take a snack before bedtime and I'm planning on sneaking it in their smoothies. Surely we'll reap the anti anxiety benediction and get some compliance in them falling asleep at a respectful hour!
I'm confident we're going to practice all these approaches and see if we see any more advancements. I understand brain function enough to know a well worn path is not easily diverted from. If we can foster the feelings of confidence and lessen the anxiety then the brain begins making new paths to travel upon and the old one get grown over. That's cognitive behavioral therapy. I'll post my findings when I notice a difference.
Praying this Spring is the season of many new tender starts.
With God's Grace anything is possible.