The holiday season can be a very busy and stressful time, especially for children with anxiety. But, that doesn't mean that you need to avoid the celebrations. With all the activities and parties going on, there are numerous opportunities to help children with selective mutism (SM) practice their bravery. Here are five ideas to get… Continue reading 5 Exposure Ideas for the Holidays
Shaping provides reinforcement for any attempt at communication, starting with gestures or non-verbal communication that is gradually shaped to audible speech. It may include gestures, mouthing, making noises, making letter sounds and eventually leads to the child speaking words and sentences. Advantages Bridges the gap between nonverbal and verbal communication. Makes use of many types… Continue reading How Shaping is Used to Treat 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
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?