Parents Guide: How to Help a Child with Selective Mutism


Practice Is Key

Kids with SM get too much practice not talking. Think about how many times a day your child is asked questions at school that he is not answering. Treatment helps reverse this by giving kids experience speaking in situations where they feel anxious. Since kids spend more time at home than they do working with a clinician, parents are a vital part of treatment. Clinicians should teach parents how to reinforce the skills kids are learning in therapy. Parents need to learn specific ways to encourage speech and look for opportunities to help kids continue building positive speaking experiences as much as possible.