You are absolutely correct in not taking your child to the private psychologist who seems to have dealt with your son’s SM incorrectly. It is important that your son acknowledge his mutism, but in a positive and non-threatening manner. A suggestion would be to sit and talk with him during bedtime or other times you are alone. Have him RATE his scaredness in certain situations and even let him know that you TOO are scared of certain things. Share them with your son. Perhaps, have him rate his scaredness with heights of legos, blocks or by drawing pictures. Older children can write their thoughts and rate their anxiety in a journal. Using a feeling thermometer is also an idea that many have used.
Unfortunately, at this time we do not know of anyone in the Cleveland area who treats SM. Perhaps speak to your pediatrician and call your local children’s hospital. Be sure to interview the professional and get their view and approach to SM.
Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum