Our Mission

The mission of the Selective Mutism Association and the Childhood Anxiety Network is to increase public awareness of selective mutism and related childhood anxiety disorders, to promote greater understanding of these disorders through education, support of research and to provide support to professionals, affected individuals and their families.

We are parents, grandparents, siblings and family members from all walks of life: accountants, artists, engineers, carpenters, electricians, librarians, lawyers, veterinarians, stay-at-home-moms, musicians, secretaries, dentists, nannies and bookkeepers.

We are also physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, social workers, speech and language pathologists, teachers, school administrators, occupational therapists, counselors, nurses, researchers, students and other health and education professionals.

What we all have in common is that we have witnessed the pain of children who suffer in silence and we have experienced the frustration of not knowing how to help them. We have come together to form an online community to help one another and, most importantly, our children.

We share experiences and knowledge, fulfilling our mission to promote public awareness, to educate and support the expansion of research about selective mutism, and to speak out for our children who are unable to speak for themselves. We pride ourselves on being the premier information source for SM.

Our Values Support What We Do

SMA exists because of a belief in the social responsibility to bring about progress for all individuals who suffer from selective mutism. We believe that there is an obligation to foster awareness and understanding so that children, adolescents and adults affected by selective mutism will have access to the help they need to overcome their anxiety and reach their full potential of personal growth and participation in society. We also believe that lack of financial resources and language barriers should not stand in the way of obtaining this treatment and support.

Driven by compassion that is born out of our personal and professional experiences with SM, we share a commitment to providing the tools and resources needed to support individuals and families, and to educate schools, professionals and other members of our community. We are consistently responsive to the needs of our constituents.

By drawing on knowledge by leading experts in the field of childhood anxiety, we create high quality educational materials and conferences and earn the credibility and respect of school and health professionals. To ensure the reliability of information that is disseminated through our website, print materials, conferences and all other communications, we consult with professional advisors and other experts, reference peer-reviewed articles, and follow accepted treatment and research protocols. Our reputation for being the leading information source on selective mutism allows professionals to learn the current best treatment practice guidelines and empowers families to advocate for effective treatment strategies and school accommodations for their children.

Our reputation is upheld by showing integrity and honesty in all of our actions. We are fully accountable for educational resources we create and compile (unless otherwise noted) and are good stewards of financial resources that are entrusted to us. We uphold the highest standards of fiscal responsibility and ethics.

To achieve true change and acceptance for our children, we are proactive in promoting research, bringing together experts, and actively disseminating the most current information about selective mutism. We seek out every possible opportunity to educate others about evidence-based treatment strategies so that all children will have access to effective treatment methods. We advocate for early diagnosis and screening of population groups of children that might be vulnerable to developing selective mutism and encourage parents and professionals to advocate for appropriate school accommodations and other resources that may be needed to help our children.