Anxiety mounts with the approaching of a new school year in children with Selective Mutism.

My Child Does Not Talk In School!

I am a stay-at-home mother of 5 children. All my children have anxiety, but it is my middle child that I quickly learned had a more pronounced form of it. I sensed something different in her and started reading every book I could on what it could be. I first blamed myself believing I must not of given her enough attention after the birth of my 4th child. Then, I read books like, "Your Strong Willed Child", "Your Spirited Child", "The Oppositional Defiant Child", and so many more. Every book just touched on some of the symptoms my daughter exhibited, but it didn't explain why she didn't speak in class or why it was so difficult to take her anywhere outside our home. I noticed when she was an infant she had severe separation anxiety. I took a class and had my daughter watched by others, but she never stopped crying whenever she was there. When she was in Kindergarten the teacher wanted to hold her back and told me daughter was on a power trip (the teachers words not mine). I knew beyond any doubts that that was not the case. The teacher wanted to hold her back because she could not asses her skills, so I asked to asses her. She proved to know all the answers, and just because she wouldn't talk was no reason to hold her back. I was determined to find the answers and knew they were out there....somewhere. I kept typing into the internet searches "daughter not speaking in class", and other terms. Finally.....I stumbled on to I started reading the forums and cried as I knew I finally found what I had been looking for. Finally found the help I so desperately needed. When I started to read what others have tried that worked for them in dealing with their SM child I incorporated some of the same techniques and can truly say I was amazed at the results. An example: Whenever I needed to run an errand I knew it would be challenging taking my daughter, and would just pick her up and put her in the car without telling her. This always let to her crying the whole time. I read from another parent that I need to tell her in advance and let her process it. After I did this, my life became so much easier. It actually worked and it was so simple. How can that be? Just one easy change was all it took. How was it that I couldn't figure that out myself??? My daughter is now 12 and has been in public school. She has given speeches in front of her classmates (still quietly, but the 504 plan I put in place for her years ago allows for this - as well as not giving her too much focused attention) and she has made a few friends. She still struggles with many sensory issues and has difficulty with transitions. I have found a wonderful PHD Psychologist that is working with my family and my daughter. We still have a long road ahead of us and it is my hope to be able to finally figure this thing out. I would love to share my experiences and help, as I have been helped from others struggling like me.

I am currently the State Coordinator for Oregon with the Selective Mutism Group. For more information please visit

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pastor williams. says ... on Thursday, Jan 12 at 2:51 AM

my daughter is 9 years old and we just found out whats going on with her.she is a smart kid but she want talk at school or at my church .when shes home you cant tell that she has sm.shes so full of energy and loves to play school .I know god is able.

WORRIED MUM says ... on Saturday, Dec 17 at 11:59 AM

My daughter is 5 and i just found out that she might have SM by reading on the Internet. It is her 2nd year at school and she still doesn't talk to the other kids. She only talks to her cousin, who is one year older. Need help on how to handle her

Danielle McCage says ... on Thursday, Dec 15 at 7:28 AM

My daughter Addi is such a fun happy little girl, she is so smart and always keeps me smiling and laughing. Her imagination is amazing, She is 5 years old and was diagnosed with SM because she will not talk at her school. I am praying for her everyda

cathy says ... on Friday, Sep 30 at 7:25 AM

My 6 year old son has been diagnosed with selective mutism. It has been 2 years and I still have not been able to find a doctor to help him. Does anyone know of a doctor in the RI, Massachusetts, Conneticut or New York area? Desperately seeking help

Concerned Mom says ... on Monday, May 16 at 8:34 PM

My daughter is 7 1/2 now & after reading this article & views of other parenst I believe this is what she has. I am in Southern there any Doctor who specializes in Selective Mustism & can help??

racha says ... on Monday, Apr 4 at 6:12 AM

j'ai un fils qui 9 ans il ne parle pas en classe et je souffre et comment faire

Anonymous says ... on Friday, Mar 4 at 10:08 PM

I was that child. Too many teachers make such a big deal out of quiet students.The more pressure the teacher puts on the child to talk, the harder it becomes. Do not allow the school to retain your child merely for not talking. Give your child time.

sharon says ... on Saturday, Feb 12 at 8:55 AM

i have a 4 year old son who is having promblems in preschool. he loves school but just will not speak to the teacher, do u think it is selective mutism! help worried mum!

esme says ... on Sunday, Dec 12 at 8:34 PM

i was just informed my daughter who is 7 may be retained from 2nd grade because she does not speak in class, the only time she speaks is to ask to go to the bathroom. my daughter is smart but i do not know what to do to help her so she can be herself

Paula says ... on Thursday, Dec 9 at 8:04 AM

I have a selective mute in my music class. Help! How do I handle this? She will be in 3rd grade and I have to grade her on her participation..I don't expect alot just some sign that she is trying. Do I leave her alone or insist>

Carmen says ... on Tuesday, Nov 30 at 2:07 PM

My daughter, now 7, had SM. I went through the same process of her not talking, preschool couldn't test her skills, saying she was shy or stubborn or controlling. I read about it in the Internet and found a specialist. She's cured! There's hope!

Magaly says ... on Wednesday, Nov 17 at 8:39 AM

Do you have any recommedations? My email is

Magaly says ... on Wednesday, Nov 17 at 8:39 AM

I have a 4 1/2 year old son and it's been so hard for him and our family ever since he started pre-school. He has been diagnosed with Selective Mutism and it's so hard to see him suffer in silence. Some kids have hurt him and he doesn't say anything!

mandy says ... on Tuesday, Nov 16 at 1:40 AM

I cried when I read your article today.It's just what I went through, search everywhere for answers and this is it! Unfortunately, Selective Mutism is not a very common so it may be quite tricky with her teachers. Not sure how the school will see it.

grandy says ... on Thursday, Oct 21 at 8:55 PM

My 5 year old grandaughter has selective mutism and does not talk at school despite her cousin being in the same class. The prep teacher wants to keep her in prep another year but I think she is bright and don;t want her to be bored. What to do.

Sally says ... on Friday, Sep 10 at 8:57 AM

my daughter is 11- just met with her 6th grade teachers in hopes of putting some kind of plan in place to help her. I have been in contact with PHD psychologist--but will it help to bring her seeing she won't talk to him? my email: lucyeth48@yahoo

tooze9 says ... on Monday, Aug 9 at 9:52 PM

Hows it going KATU.Com?

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