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    selective mutism
    By Cathy

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    Dear Tammy, I am not a CPS teacher. I am a teacher for adults with developmental disabilities (21+ years)in a day program. I have had a girl in class who choose not to speak. However, a couple years ago, I noticed her singing to herself while playing in the corner. She joined music therapy and I began to use music/song with her in class. After we developed a closer rapport, I showed her where to pronounce sounds (i.e., when practicing the back sounds /k/ and /g/, I pointed to the back of my throat. After she became familiar with the pronunciation, we practiced using a combination of sounds to make words and we would make a game out of it. There is a song that goes: "I like to eat, eat, eat, apples and bananas...". We would sing this song and substitute other foods while learning the food pyramid. The girl is no longer afraid to use her voice to communicate and will go so far as to ask for money to buy a pop! I truely believe that if the activity isn't fun and interesting to your student, they will not respond favorably. So, develop a rapport, find their interest, use a lot of reinforcement (praise and excitement over their progress work often)and make it fun. Good luck. Cathy

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