Experiences of Homeschooling Children with Selective Mutism and their Social Skills
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Objective: The aim of the study was to explore parent’s thoughts and experiences of homeschooling children with selective mutism using 3 online and open discussion forums. Method: 21 participants with children with selective mutism were involved. The discussions that took place between them were observed and analysed using the process of grounded theory analysis. Findings: 19 of the 21 participants considered homeschooling their children. Only a minority had actually undertaken homeschooling, and reported it being a positive experience. Those who had homeschooled had re-admitted their children into the public school at secondary age for various reasons. 1 participant felt homeschooling was an inappropriate management strategy for a child with selective mutism. Almost all participants justified considering homeschooling in terms of the lack of support their children were receiving from school. Socialisation was discussed by all participants as an issue that needed consideration, and they all appeared anxious for some form of social support for their child if they were to homeschool them. However, socialisation did not appear to be a reason for not homeschooling for the majority of them. Conclusions: Each individual has experiences of selective mutism that is either very similar to another, or completely different. Although there is a lack of research concerning homeschooling children with selective mutism, the overall indication is that not many parents actually do it for fear of inhibiting social communication further. However, a significant proportion is open minded about homeschooling and willing to explore it. Limitations of the present study, as well as implications for future research are presented.
B.Sc.(Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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