The Silence Within


A Teacher/Parent Guide to Helping Selectively Mute and Shy Children

The Silence Within describes a teacher’s experience with a selectively mute child. Also described is the process that followed in the child overcoming the disorder, after five years of being mute in school and all social situations. The book grew out of research and daily notes over a seven month period. It includes the child’s handwritten weekly goal, daily strategies and activities, resources, references and worksheets that may be copied.  Order now....Don’t miss out on this valuable and informative resource for teachers, parents, and guidance counselors.  Click to Order


Supplement To: The Silence Within

The supplement contains a Form IEP to use as a guide with properly written goals and objectives developed specifically for selective mutism. This very useful book provides the user with many other useful forms including Classroom Strategies for the Teacher, Ranking Fears, Goals, School Communication, School Information Sheet and songs and poetry to use in an intervention.  Click to Order


What is Selective Mutism


Selective mutism, formerly called elective mutism, is a complex psychological disorder with an unknown origin. It is a widely misdiagnosed childhood anxiety disorder which is now known to be genetically linked. The term Selective Mutism is somewhat misleading in that the term leads many to believe the child "selects" where to speak and is therefore, defiant. The opposite is actually the case. The child certainly wants to speak, but may be literally physically unable due to the severe anxiety. A better term would be "Anxiety Induced Mutism".

Generally, selective mutism is called shyness for several years until a child enters school and does not function verbally in school and most social situations outside of school. Parents and teachers become very concerned and seek further assistance and diagnosis. These children have the ability to speak and understand language, develop age appropriate skills, and function normally at home with most family members. However, if the mute behavior lasts for a period of time, it becomes a learned pattern and is difficult to overcome, because the longer a child is silent, the more entrenched the behavior becomes.

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New Jersey Selective Mutism Parent / Professional Support Group

mother-daughterThere are many families in the northern New Jersey who have selectively mute children.  We have organized a very knowledgeable and supportive support group that meets once a month. We discuss current research, share stories and knowledge along with having occasional speakers who are experts in the field of selective mutism. Our group has been in existence for the past 14 years and there is no charge. If interested, contact Gail Kervatt at: 973-479-8067 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Click here for other Selective Mutism events.


Parent/Professional SM Support Group Meeting 

Saturday, March 14, 2015, 10:30am-1:30pm 

Kinnelon Public Library

132 Kinnelon Road, Kinnelon, NJ 07405 

Upstairs, Room 3  

Advocating For Your Child with Special Educational Needs

 Conducted by Renay Zamloot, Education Advocate

Effective communication is key to securing appropriate services. Ms. Zamloot will provide you with tools and strategies you can use at your next IEP meeting. Her unique perspective on the IEP process and unconventional communication style will change the way you view your role as an IEP team member. Ms. Zamloot is not an attorney and her ideas should not be construed as legal advice.


Renay Zamloot is a professional Education Advocate for children and young adults (ages 3-21) with disabilities who has been assisting families in securing appropriate educational services in NJ since 1995. She participates in hundreds of meetings per year including: IEP Meetings, Mediation Conferences, 504 Conferences, Manifestation Determination Meetings and other related meetings. Her creative approach to problem-solving in conjunction with her extensive experience working across disabilities, has resulted in unique and truly individualized programs being developed for the students she serves. Ms. Zamloot is on the Executive Board of the Special Education Leadership Council of NJ, Recipient of SPAN’s 2004 Diana Cuthbertson Parent-Professional Collaboration Award, a Graduate of the Special Education Advocacy Training Project jointly sponsored by the US Department of Education, University of Southern California and the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Practicum Supervisor for the SEAT Project, a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for neglected and abused children in NJ and a TASH Trainer on the prevention of the use of restraint and seclusion. She regularly participates in national and statewide conferences, workshops and other training programs to remain current on legislative changes and trends in education. She is a member of the NJ Coalition for Special Education Funding Reform, NJ Special Education Practitioners’ Group and Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates. Ms. Zamloot conducts workshops and presentations on subjects such as: “Understanding the IEP Process,” “Advanced Advocacy Strategies,” “Effective Parent-ProfessionalCommunication in the IEP Process,” “The Impact of Funding Cuts on the IEP Process,” and more for School Districts, Parent Groups, and other organizations throughout the state of NJ including: Rutgers University, Seton Hall University, Montclair State University, William Paterson University, Autism NJ, ASPEN, CHADD, SPAN, NJPTA and many others. She is actively involved in numerous initiatives on the local, state and federal levels to support the rights of students with disabilities and their families.


The support group is comprised of parents, teachers and treating professionals who share experiences, support and knowledge and is facilitated by Gail Kervatt. The cost is free and all are welcome. 


Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Silence Within


The Supplement to The Silence Within


 Professional Services


• Parent
• School Personnel
• Psychologist Consultation


starAward Winning Website

The Silence Within website has recently received the Teacher Education Commitment To Education Excellence website award.

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