Talk to Your Child About the Dangers of Pro-Government Extremism

As I scrolled through my Facebook news feed, I discovered the following artwork here, being shared by the page, “Cop Block,” and originally posted it to my own wall, along with commentary…

“I thought the police were there to serve and protect”

My Commentary: Have you talked to your child about the dangers of pro-government extremism?

Discussing Treatment Options for Children With Social Anxiety

The following correspondence originally took place upon the Facebook wall of fellow emcee, Tru Leo…

Tru Leo: kids with broken legs dont have to do PE but kids with social anxiety still have to do public speaking, isnt there a problem there? Jus sayin

NaNuk H.: Social anxiety is something that can be worked through. A broken leg won’t put the child permanently out of commission. Thus the “push” for a child with a fear of public speaking to perform, in my opinion, is a step in the right direction.

Rayn: It’s ableism in action, which is a very pervasive problem in today’s society.

I should also point out that a socially phobic child should not be pressured into speaking, as this counterproductive activity only aggravates their anxiety, while disintegrating their trust in you. Such uncompassionate efforts to “push” an anxious child into speech, when done repeatedly or demanded strongly enough, may actually trigger an even more anxious condition called “selective mutism” in such children, as they are already vulnerable, and easily triggered and traumatized by their social surroundings

NaNuk H.: Makes me wonder why it worked for me. Interesting.

Rayn: That is interesting, indeed, because not only did it fail to work for me, it exacerbated my social anxiety and induced years of panic attacks and selective mutism for me, instead. And, I know exactly why it didn’t work. Since my social phobia stems from qualitative impairments in social interactions and social communication, early efforts to pressure me into speaking, when I first entered school, simply resulted in an entire school career, including college, struggling with panic attacks and selective mutism, all throughout.

Instead of pressuring a child into speaking, I would suggest that parents and instructors encourage self-advocacy in that youth, starting with a discussion on the issue of where, how and why he or she is struggling to speak. This important, and much overlooked, step would provide the valuable input necessary for the child’s caretakers to form an individualized course of action towards improvement of the child’s speech, right along with the child. Compassion and cooperation are key, here.

And, to date, cognitive behavioral therapy still remains the best approach towards a effective and long-lasting treatment for moderate to severe social anxiety. This is to be distinguished from repeatedly pressuring or strongly demanding that a child speak, which indicates a stubborn insistence by a caretaker upon a rigid, one-track course of preconceived “solution,” even in the face of continued failure to yield any positive results from said commands or demands. If that’s what you’re saying worked for you, Nikki, and wondering why it did, you might want to ask yourself why you were anxious to speak, in the first place. This will likely help you to gain a better understanding of the dynamics and mechanisms at work in your treatment. On the other hand, you might then also want to ask yourself if you would have possibly benefited much more greatly from the use of cognitive behavioral therapy for your condition, rather than the “pressure” you received to speak during your childhood, instead.

NaNuk H.Rayn, thank you! No one ever explained any of that to me. I was thinking about what you stated in your first comment. When I used the word “push” I meant “to encourage”. The support and encouragement I received as a child helped me to overcome that fear, just enough to interact with others. In turn, experiencing my own ability ,however lacking, helped me to repeat and gain little victories. I do still deal with social anxiety, but on a very different level from when I was a child. I have to agree with you. I do believe being more informed at an earlier age would have caused me to be farther along in my quest to improve. I appreciate your willingness to explain. Thank you again.

Rayn: You’re most welcome. Thank you for engaging in this discussion, and for sharing your story, as well. Also, I agree with you that support and encouragement are definitely steps in the right direction!

Tru Leo: You guys are tha best…luv y’all…I was entertained and well informed..I appreciated you both.

NaNuk H.: Ly2 Tru Leo

The Voice of the Individual

The following correspondence originally took place upon the Facebook wall of my friend, and fellow Autistic self-advocate, Jason Ross…

2013-03-13 - The Voice of the Individual

Jason R.: Do the rich have the right to speak for the poor? or, Should every one be able to speak for themselves letting all voices be heard?

Samuel B.: everyone should be treated the same

Samuel B.: but sadly, sigh the world is a messed up place man

Michael S.: I think they can, if they have the right reasons and can actually do something for the poor. Don’t forget what FDR and Teddy Roosevelt did for the U.S. ( a lot more than many average Americans). I think that very often the poor who just talk and talk but can’t do anything for the poor should either find something else to do or, if they’re good teachers, become professors. That’s what they would be good at.

Rayn: As far as I’m concerned, those who are rich in Spirit feel absolutely no need to speak for those who are morally bankrupt! If anything, they typically speak AGAINST their corrupt ways!

Meanwhile, regardless of monetary wealth, no individual, nor group, has the right to speak for me BUT ME – unless I CHOOSE to CONSENT to such an arrangement! I don’t care how well-intentioned another feels he or she is, there is NO intention worth my non-consensual submission, and none worth my enforced silence! There is no “right reason” that would EVER logically bypass the fact that I AM AN Individual, with my OWN UNIQUE and VALID VOICE to exercise in this life! Those who deny this truth are just arrogant authoritarians, who could CARE LESS about any portion of humanity but their own selves!

Genaire: Despite Michael’s misguided beliefs everyone should have the right to speak for themselves. I grew up in the projects in the south Bronx and can tell you from experience the rich do not speak for me. The reason you are seeing the gap between the rich and poor growing at an alarming rate is due to the fact that our politicians are the one percent that will give themselves and their rich friends the sweetheart deals to further increase their wealth. While increasing the police force in the poorer neighborhood in an attempt to stop the unrest. Which leads to further incidents of police brutality which in turn leads to even more unrest.

Fiona Has Wings!

The following correspondence originally took place here, upon the Facebook page, “Aspergers Adult Support“…

Aspergers Adult Support:

“When you’re surrounded by all these people, it can be lonelier than when you’re by yourself. You can be in a huge crowd, but if you don’t feel like you can trust anyone or talk to anybody, you feel like you’re really alone.” – Fiona Apple

Walki T.: It’s the contrast.

Rayn: Fiona Has Wings! 


Distinguishing Selective Mutism from Social Phobia

The following correspondence originally took place here, within the public Facebook group, “Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome“…

(replies from all third parties have been omitted for clarity)

2011-08-12 - Distinguishing Selective Mutism from Social Phobia

Anastasia M.: Anyone here who has social anxiety in addition to Asperger’s? I do and I wonder how many others do too. I ofter hear it’s quite common problem for Aspies. It’s basically fear of social situations. Anyone else thought of this?

Rayn: I have social phobia and selective mutism. They have been with me as long as I can remember.

Anastasia M.: Wait… isn’t selective mutism actually an extreme form of social phobia?

Anastasia M.: I might have it too, but they never diagnosed it, said a part of Asperger’s and social phobia, although in some situatons I definitely can’t speak and was always like that.. 😀

Rayn: As I understand it, Anastasia, social phobia and selective mutism are two separate conditions. However, up to 90% of those with selective mutism also have social phobia, so there is an undeniably strong connection between the two:

What is Selective Mutism?:

Either way, though, it follows sound logic to distinguish them from each other due to the fact that selective mutism is rare, unlike social phobia. Therefore, even if EVERYONE with selective mutism were to also have social phobia, not nearly all of those with social phobia would also have selective mutism.