Children with selective mutism can often be talkative in the privacy of their homes, but have difficulty speaking, or are unable to speak at all, in school and other social situations. Although these children might appear willful, they are actually self-conscious and experience the problem as an inability to speak. This disorder tends to co-occur with social anxiety. Often, difficulties with selective mutism can be seen at an early age and begin in preschool.

We help children with selective mutism overcome their symptoms through evidence-based behavioral interventions. We learn about children’s history, development, and symptoms and develop treatment plans to help children begin talking more freely again. The treatment is often very gradual and it is typically necessary to work closely with school personnel, as well as parents.

Book resources for selective mutism include:

  • Helping Your Child With Selective Mutism: Practical Steps to Overcome a Fear of Speaking
    • by Angela E. McHolm Ph.D., Charles E. Cunningham Ph.D. & Melanie K. Vanie
  • Too Shy for Show and Tell
    • by Beth Bracken & Jennifer Bell
  • Understanding Katie
    • by Elisa Shipon-Blum
  • Maya’s Voice
    • by Wen-Wen Chang