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.
New Jersey Selective Mutism Parent / Professional Support Group