My parents adopted me when I was six months old and kept me from talking as a child, but I was okay with it because they were usually working and had their business partners at the house, so I was always quiet and didn’t interrupt. But it wasn’t just when they had business; I had to be silent all the time. They were also strict but I know they love me because they were never mean to me or anything of the sort. Now that I’m older, I feel nervous about talking to anyone about anything. My boyfriend knows my situation and is trying to help me, but I don’t want to disappoint my parents by speaking because that’s what they taught me not to do. I wasn’t allowed to speak. I don’t know what I should do and I’m scared. Please help.

A: My guess is there is more to your story. Parents who intentionally limit an essential part of their child’s development are likely to have made other poor judgments.

I would highly recommend working with a psychologist who specializes in clinical psychology or a clinically certified speech therapist. Both of these types of professionals should be able to help you with your situation. They may also be able to do some testing to pinpoint how to help.

Since you were still in high school you may want to see if there is a speech therapist on your child study team. Making an appointment with him or her can be a good first step in making a correction.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral