Chakriya’s Story – Gaining the confidence to talk

September 2019

A year ago, we enrolled 6-year-old Chakriya into Cambodian Children’s Trust (CCT)’s Satellite Community Centre and local public preschool.

Chakriya is a very intelligent little girl, but in the year she’d been attending CCT’s Satellite Community Centre and preschool, she had never spoken to her teachers or the other children.

Her teachers, her grandma, and her social worker all came together to devise a plan to encourage Chakriya to speak. They engaged a speech therapist to assist with Chakriya’s case. After some observation and play sessions, we decided to see if strategies for supporting children with selective mutism could be helpful for Chakriya.

Within just three hours of starting the speech therapist’s technique, Chakriya spoke for the first time ever at CCT’s Satellite Community Centre! At first, she would only speak in private spaces with her favourite teachers and when her grandma was with her. But after just a few weeks, she’s now speaking with the other children too. She has even started making little jokes with her favourite teachers.

Next, we hope to support her to gain the confidence to speak within her preschool classroom. Confidence in speaking will help her to prepare for primary school.