I remember the first time I got on a horse. I was two years old and we were watching a friend of the family ride. My mom agreed to let me take a short ride around the arena(舞台,竞技场) with the friend and that was it! I was horse crazy. From then on, I drove my parents insane begging for a horse. Whenever I saw a horse, I would beg even harder.
When I was four years old,my life as I know it now began. I have Selective Mutism(缄默症,哑). This is a rare childhood disorder1 in which children stop speaking in certain social situations, many times at around the age of four. I spoke2 normally to my parents, my brother and certain other people, but was silent at school and in social situations. I went days, weeks, months without a sound at school. At most, I might quietly whisper to a friend.
Often, children with Selective Mutism will not speak in the presence of others; even to a person they normally talk to. There is a lot of whispering in ears, so that others cannot hear. We have normal or above average IQs and usually no speech pathology. The most important factor in this disorder is, we cannot speak. We do not do this purposely or willfully, it feels impossible to speak. As you can imagine, many children are blamed, punished and traumatized, especially at school. The disorder is believed to be anxiety related and treatment is difficult, but not impossible. We have so much more to learn.
My parents searched for a cure. At that time, we did not even have a name for what I had. I suffered silently through school until I was ten years old when one in a long string of psychologists had an idea. Having discussed his plan with my parents beforehand, one day in my therapy session I was asked by the psychologist what I wanted more than anything in the world. He explained that I was going to be given an opportunity to work for what I wanted. I couldn't believe my good luck, but I co