Speech therapy helps this 6-year-old finally find her voice!
Like most six-year-olds, Poppy Campbell from Inverness in Scotland likes to chatter constantly. But what makes this little one special is that until a few months ago, her mother Sarah could count on one hand the number of times her daughter had spoken.
Poppy suffers from a form of mutism, which means she has a fear of of anyone hearing her voice. This includes even her parents.
It took almost four years for her to find the courage to say, 'Mummy, I love you.' But after that she did not speak again for a whole year. In school, she would not speak at all and even when she cried, she made no sound. Her only way of communicating was through eye movements and facial expressions.
All that changed after just months after starting a speech and language therapy programme. The programme was expected to last seven years, but little Poppy found her voice.
She was even elected class representative after standing up in front of 28 classmates to say why they should choose her. Her mother, who is a hairdresser, is thrilled. The most special moment for her was when her daughter told her she loved her for the first time.
The family's lives have changed since Poppy found her voice. She loves gymnastics and is now in the top group for reading in her class.
Poppy’s condition is called selective mutism and it affects around one in 1,500 children. It is classified as an anxiety disorder, whereby the person can speak but is unable to do so in some social settings, such as school.
Because Poppy did not even talk to her parents and sisters, experts think she may have had speech dyspraxia, which means the brain does not send the right signal to the mouth to produce speech.