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Do I have to pay $150/session? Selective mutism
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amother




OP
 

Post  Fri, Jan 03 2020, 10:28 am
My first grader has moderate selective mutism. The school social worker has recommended a psychologist who has a lot of experience with this and is supposed to be excellent. Of course she doesn't take insurance and charges $150 per session, with no estimate of how many sessions it will take.

We can bH afford this if we have to, we are just having a hard time with the idea of spending this much $$$ when we have insurance and could go to someone who takes it for a $20 copay...but we have heard that it takes a really experienced person for the therapy to work.

Has anyone gone through this who can advise? We are in NYC.
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mommy3b2c




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, Jan 03 2020, 10:29 am
In general, people who take insurance are not as good. You can afford it. This is your child. I’m not sure I understand the question?
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amother




Bronze
 

Post  Fri, Jan 03 2020, 10:31 am
If you find someone just as good that takes insurance, you don't need to use the one recommended by the school.
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amother




Brown
 

Post  Fri, Jan 03 2020, 10:37 am
why don't u try the cheaper option first? Ask what change is reasonable to see after let's say 6 weeks, what are indications of positive change, and then you will be able to gage. Hard to believe you will lose anything significant by trying if its a moderate case and not severe. You are your best advocate - be a smart consumer. The school can suggest "the top" person, but you have to work well with him/her and share their views and be comfortable with the approach.

I have found with traditional therapists that they can always find something else to work on and stretch on and on with therapy. I believe its helpful - have been in therapy myself and for some issues with some children- I also believe that I've been taken for a ride at times. Sometimes there has to be a concept of we all have to live with imperfection and not every child will look like they're in a Coca cola ad delirious with joy surrounding by adoring friends.
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flmommy




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, Jan 03 2020, 10:41 am
I have found with mental health people you get what you pay for. Spend the money and get he help or you will spend more in the long run.
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mha3484




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, Jan 03 2020, 10:43 am
You can use anyone you want. I have a friend who has a son with selective mutisum. She wasted a lot of money with a regular talk therapist who her son refused to talk to and eventually went to see someone who specializes in anxiety disorders (selective mutism is an anxiety disorder). The therapist has a very specific method that he uses that a traditional therapist does not. I really recommend finding someone who specializes in this specific issue even if its not the same person recommended by the school social worker.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Fri, Jan 03 2020, 10:43 am
Thanks for the responses so far. I added "selective mutism" to the title because I would love to hear from people who have specifically dealt with this. Recommendations would also be great if anyone used someone good who takes insurance in NYC.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Fri, Jan 03 2020, 10:46 am
To be clear, the school is not pressuring me at all to use this person, they were just being helpful in letting me know that this person is very good and has "fixed" a lot of kids in the school. My question is just if I can find someone who takes insurance whose treatment will also "work"
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amother




Bronze
 

Post  Fri, Jan 03 2020, 10:48 am
Try someone with insurance first. If you don't see result, then try someone for cash.
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notshanarishona




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, Jan 03 2020, 10:52 am
Speaking as a special educator... there are good therapists and bad therapists. Yes typically the ones who take insurance are either with little experience or not as popular but there are definitely some good ones out there you just need to do your research. Not everyone who charges money is good . There are plenty of useless private therapists . The one advantage of going to someone in an agency is you have more accountability. You have a secretary you can work with to schedule instead of waiting to reach your therapist when she is not with clients. You have a superviser you can complain to if need be .
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amother




Cyan
 

Post  Fri, Jan 03 2020, 10:52 am
Please do not use anyone without getting feedback first from someone you know who has used her. Unfortunately, when you're using someone bad it can cause more damage, not only not help.
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amother




Aqua
 

Post  Fri, Jan 03 2020, 10:57 am
My oldest had selective mutism. She's in 3rd grade and doing fantastic bh!!

We did not take my child to any social worker/psychologist as we were advised against it. This type of child often feels even more self-conscious when singled out, put on the spot, or in the limelight. We spoke to Mrs. Shaindel Cohen who guided us and her teachers and bh it really worked!

The basics-never put a child in a position where they are forced to respond and then they don't. The reason is because this is a reinforcement of their belief that they can not respond.

Always include the child in a way that looks the same as everyone else. For example, if teacher wants to ask each child what color paper they want, rather than saying to each child "what color do you want?" and then waiting for a response, the teacher should walk around the room with the paper and just let each child take one from the pile.

Being silly, making jokes, laughing and being easy with the class is the best medicine for children with selective mutism.

Also, always warn child in advance about changes to schedules, transitions, etc.

Unfortunately, Shaindel Cohen is no longer alive but I believe she has CDs or DVDs that she put out some years ago. I have no idea how you can get your hands on them, but if you can trace them, they might be very helpful.

P.S. for all the naysayers, I am a child therapist and I've found this approach more helpful than taking child to therapy.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Fri, Jan 03 2020, 11:58 am
Thank you everyone for your replies.

For those who have treated a child with selective mutism - how often do you usually go for appointments? How long does it usually take to see improvement?
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#BestBubby




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, Jan 03 2020, 12:01 pm
I am a SEIT who had had success helping children with selective mutism.
PM me.
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amother




Cyan
 

Post  Fri, Jan 03 2020, 12:22 pm
#BestBubby wrote:
I am a SEIT who had had success helping children with selective mutism.
PM me.


What's your approach?
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amother




Silver
 

Post  Fri, Jan 03 2020, 2:39 pm
I have found that some of the most expensive ones are the WORST! Seriously! They are both incompetent and arrogant at the same time.
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amother




Denim
 

Post  Fri, Jan 03 2020, 2:45 pm
amother [ Silver ] wrote:
I have found that some of the most expensive ones are the WORST! Seriously! They are both incompetent and arrogant at the same time.

I agree with this for many. Not all but many. Some do have a specific technique that makes it worth it, but most do not.
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#BestBubby




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, Jan 03 2020, 2:48 pm
amother [ Cyan ] wrote:
What's your approach?


I follow Shaindel Cohens Approach of including the child in NON-verbal ways to
remove the pressure. I also took the child out 1:1 and played NON-verbally -
first parallel play and then interactive. The child would start talking within weeks -
at first in a whisper. I made no fuss or remarks "See you can talk". I didn't even
tell the parents for a week so they should not make any comments that would jeopardize the progress.

Then I started including one other child in our play - a child who was also very
quiet and non-intimidating so the child got used to speaking to a child as well as
an adult.

Just taking baby steps.
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teachkids




 
 
 
 

Post  Sat, Jan 04 2020, 6:59 pm
Another teacher of kids with selective mutism. Some things I’ve found successful that you could share with her teacher if you want:
Don’t pressure to talk until they’re really comfortable. Find other ways to include them: acting, pointing, writing drawing. Once she was comfortable, I would encourage her to read answers that I confirmed were correct out loud- no worries about being wrong. Main thing as #bestbubby said is to not make a big deal when she does talk.
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amother




Lime
 

Post  Sat, Jan 04 2020, 7:02 pm
I have a relative who is a Seit who has had success with selective mutism, so don't be discouraged. I don't know where you are located, but I would suggest calling the mental health department of the nearest decent hospital, and explaining your needs. They often have very well run clinics (which accept insurance). You are serviced by students (who are supervised by highly trained professionals). I know people who have had very positive outcomes from these clinics. If they don't have what you need, ask them for suggestions. Additionally, call your insurance carrier for a referral to someone who specializes in this (and accepts your insurance). If they do t have anyone in a reasonable location to you, they will many times foot the bill for someone out of their network who can help. Best of luck to you.
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