Parents Guide: How to Help a Child with Selective Mutism


Treatment That Moves into the Real World

For a treatment program to be effective, kids need to learn how to speak in everyday situations — not just in the doctor’s office. This means that clinicians should model treatment around real life settings and situations. For example, because kids with SM typically struggle to speak at school, the Brave Buddies℠ group program takes place in a simulated classroom and follows a typical school day, with activities like a morning meeting, show and tell and snack time. This helps children bring the speaking skills they are developing with them when they return to their real classroom. “Field trips” during treatment, to places like the park or the ice cream store, are also important, because they help children get practice speaking in actual real life settings where they would typically remain silent.