Questions can make children with selective mutism (SM) anxious. In another post, I recommended to avoid asking questions to children with SM, but sometimes questions cannot be avoided. And, at some point, the child reaches a stage when they are ready to practice answering questions. There are certain ways to ask questions that reduce the child's… Continue reading How to Ask a Question to a Child with Selective Mutism
When a person is fearful of something, they tend to avoid it. The more they avoid it, the more the fear grows. Exposing a person to the thing they fear in a safe, supportive way helps them to break this cycle and become less fearful and avoidant. This type of treatment, called exposure therapy, can… Continue reading Exposure Therapy: Climbing the Ladder
It’s tough enough to deal with the daily stresses that come with being a parent, but when you have an extremely anxious child, your own anxiety can shoot through the roof! I had always considered myself a pretty calm person, but something happened when I had kids. The pressure of being a mom to three… Continue reading When Your Anxious Child Drives You Crazy…
Trying to understand the silence of a child with selective mutism can seem like a mystery, but it's even more challenging to know the best way to interact with them. The way you approach a child with selective mutism can have a great impact on whether or not they speak to you. Every child is… Continue reading How Should I Interact with a Child Who Has Selective Mutism? Tips and Tricks for Everyone
Tried and true, these fun summer activities will provide your child with opportunities to practice brave speaking and stay social this summer. Remember, that each child is at a different stage of communication and you can modify any activity to meet your child's needs. 1 - Swimming Pool/Beach My kids love the water! We have… Continue reading Our Top 10 Ideas for Summer Exposures
Fading in, also called sliding in, is used to help the child with selective mutism by gradually exposing them to the feared person or location while providing positive reinforcement for the child's continued speaking. The child and a person they are already comfortable talking to begin a speaking activity (usually some type of game). The… Continue reading Fading In: Our Go-To Technique
How do you get a child to talk who is literally frozen with fear, or who has been silent so long that they have become an expert mime? The answer may seem elusive, but it is not as complicated as you may think. Effective treatment lies in decreasing the child's anxiety and gradually exposing them… Continue reading Treating Selective Mutism – What Works?
Selective mutism is an anxiety-based social communication disorder. Children with selective mutism are quite capable of speaking in situations where they feel comfortable, like at home with family and perhaps with a few close friends. However, in other social settings their anxiety makes it difficult or impossible for them to speak, even if they really… Continue reading What is Selective Mutsim?
You just found out that your child has selective mutism (SM). What do you do now? It is so relieving, yet overwhelming to finally get a diagnosis. Now you have something tangible to work with. But, the looming question is, “Where should we begin?” I’m here to help you get started! There is a lot… Continue reading The Beginner’s Guide to Selective Mutsim