My 4 year old Isaac's story
by Cassandra Schwersenska
I have a four year old son Isaac. We started noticing Isaac would get very quiet or irritable at family gatherings or birthday parties. Last fall after his sister's birthday party he did not speak to anyone for a whole day, started back up and then a couple days later was mute for a whole week. We thought Isaac may have had Selective Mutism.
After we saw a specialist who deals with SM she evaluated Isaac and we were told he did not score high enough to have SM but he scored low enough to have some form of mutism and he suffered from a sensory disorder.
Isaac has never been very fond of meat unless it marinates so juicy that it just melts in his mouth, sounds delicious right? He will literally chew on meat and suck the flavor out and then fuss that he doesn't like to eat it, now I realize what was going on. Isaac refuses to wear shorts. This has been a huge battle, we live in Northern Illinois and it is hot! He will pull on his shorts to see if he can get them to stretch down to his ankles. He fusses and screams and cries and there have been times where I have sent him to daycare in them on 100 plus degree days and he will shut down and not talk and just latch on and cry to either his father or I, but I have taken him back home and put him in pants and his whole attitude will change.
He hates school, he says the kids are too noisy and he doesn't like being in the nap room because there are no windows or light. He had many accidents because he was scared to walk down the hall to the bathroom that he would have to enter that was dark from
a lit hallway. Isaac does not notice when his face is messy or sticky but if he has anything on his hands he immediately notices and is asking for a towel to wash them. He is very meticulous about his finger and toenails being groomed almost every 2-3 days. His teacher had bought up at a parent teacher conference one time that he makes noises and sounds when playing by himself that are distracting and then the other kids catch on and the whole room is soon making these sounds. I believe he does it to tune out the other noises in the room?
At home Isaac will not walk into the bathroom unless the light in the hallway is on as well as the bathroom light, once there is light he is fine, he refuses to go in his room as it is a darker room so we have opened it up more but someone always has to walk him into a new environment when the lighting is different. He loves music, he loves to dance and sing. We have even been able to give him his own mp3 device and headphones that actually calm him down when he gets very temperamental. He is demanding and at times hard to control. He can be very affectionate towards people when they are hurt but if he bumps into walls or couches he feels the need "to get back" and gets very upset. This has been a hard road.
I have been looking into OT's but I am still paying off the SM dr and we are not a wealthy family. I have to pay 750 out of pocket and to have him evaluated is almost 400 and then my insurance will have me paying 60 for each session there after which is not bad unless this is something he will be needing weekly.