I am so amazed at how far William has come in his anxiety issues since the beginning of school. I wish I was able to get a video of him in public the way he used to act, but by the time I thought of doing it, he was already starting to come out of his shell. This video is similar to how he used to act, though. He used to withdraw inside himself when there were other people around (other than immediate family and Grandpa and Grandma). His face would look sort of blank and he'd be stiff. He avoided eye contact and if asked a direct question, he'd often walk away. He would always pick or chew on his fingers. He doesn't do any of those things anymore! He still is reserved around new people, but not nearly to the extent that he was. The other day, we went to Pizza Hut to use the free pizza coupons from BOOK IT and he was telling the waiter what he wanted on his pizza and which pizza belonged to his sisters and brother. I used to have to find out what he wanted to eat and place his order for him, now he just tells them himself! He raises his hand to answer questions at school and his teacher even has to remind him to talk less sometimes! His teacher is the one who clued us into the fact that William might have more going on than just shyness. And although he didn't get an official diagnosis of Selective Mutism (he was diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder), I still am sure that he did in deed have SM. Especially since the main symptom of Selective Mutism is lack of speech in specific social situations (but not all situations) and his total lack of speaking in public was the main "red flag" for us. As we near the end of school and look forward to the next year, we are a little afraid of how far back he'll slide in his progress with a new teacher and new situations. He has already been introduced to his teacher for next year and has been doing small things with her to get to know her a little. We pray that he "bounces back" well and continues to improve and conquer his anxiety while he is young.
These pictures are small (they'll get bigger if you click on them), but I think it shows Will's progress well. The one on the left is (obviously) from the first day of Kindergarten and the one on the right is from mid March. It isn't just that he's smiling a little more in the 2nd picture, but his eyes are what makes me notice the change. Maybe it's just me, but I can see the fear and anxiety in the first picture and his eyes in the 2nd picture are more relaxed and at ease. And that makes me so happy!