My daughter is 8 years old. She was diagnosed with Selective Mutism when she was 6. She has not spoken to any adult besides my husband and myself. She has been in Therapy for 2 years. She never spoke to therapist. We have stopped therapy. Could you tell us where to go from here?


You most definitely sound frustrated and unsure of your next step. I can reassure you that when approached correctly your daughter SHOULD make significant progress and ultimately overcome SM. You did not mention the TYPE of therapy your daughter received. There are so many variations in therapy. You stated, ‘She never spoke to her therapist.’ I can tell you that the therapist’ goal should not be to hear your daughter to speak to HER, but to help her in the REAL WORLD.

In other words, MUTISM is a reflection of severe anxiety. When we lower anxiety, verbalization will follow. SO, tactics need to be to help your child feel comfortable, remove all pressure to speak and to help her gain comfort in school and other social situations. ie, DESENSITIZATION is a wonderful tactic we recommend to ALL SM children. This involves slowly helping her to build a comfort level, by frequent, non-threatening exposure to anxiety-inducing situations, such as school.

Please search out a therapist who UNDERSTANDS SOCIAL ANXIETY. You can contact your local children’s hospital for a referral or perhaps your own doctor knows of someone in your area.

GOOD LUCK, and please know that the prognosis for overcoming SM is excellent when approached from the right perspective!