Seven sixth grade girls at Palmer Lake Elementary took it upon themselves to help out a fellow student.  

This year a new girl enrolled at Palmer Lake, but unlike her classmates, she suffers from selective mutism. Selective mutism is a complex childhood anxiety disorder characterized by the inabilty to speak and communicate effectively in select social settings. 

Her crippling anxiety made school an overwhelming challenge for her on a daily basis. While at school her movement from classes, lunch and recess takes anywhere from four to five times longer than a child without her condition. 

Seven of her classmates, without adult prompting, decided to lend a helping hand. 

Tayla, MaKayla, Greta, Arianna, Emery, Kate and Danielle have provided their classmate with “wrap-around” assistance through her day. They walk with her, at her pace, to and from class. They make sure she has a companion with whom she can eat her lunch. 

“I know what it’s like to come to a new school and no one came to me to be my friend and I thought I should be her friend.”

School officials have noted that their actions have not been just “one-time” instances, but rather for the last five months. 

“I feel like everybody should have a good friend because a lot of people come to school to hang out,” said MaKayla.