Brave Talking Bingo can be a helpful and fun strategy for working on talking goals with children with Selective Mutism. This is an approach that can be used in individual therapy sessions, SM groups, when working on talking goals in classrooms/schools, and when working on exposures within community settings. It can be easily modified for simple to more advanced goals across a variety of age groups and to address a variety of speaking goals. Check out our website for examples of Bingo boards targeting specific talking exposures during the summer months https://www.selectivemutism.org/learn/online-library/selective-mutism-activities. These boards were developed to demonstrate talking goals that range from simple to more advanced talking expectations. You may want to complete specific activities or use them as inspiration to create your own Bingo boards!

How to Implement Brave Talking Bingo:

This approach can be introduced to children as an opportunity to build and practice their brave talking skills. Children can be a part of developing the specific talking goals for the Bingo game or boards can be developed by parents/providers in advance. Each space on the Bingo board includes one specific talking exposure opportunity. Boards should be developed at an appropriate level for the child’s current comfort and ability to engage verbally in the targeted setting. This game allows children to choose specific target goals to be addressing when engaging in summer exposures and earn reinforcements for successfully reaching 5 goals in a row. Additional reinforcements can be provided if a child is able to successfully complete all goals listed in on the board.

Tips for Implementing Brave Talking Bingo:

• Make sure talking goals are feasible for child’s current communication level

• Provide verbal praise when child successfully completes a goal, “Great job saying hello to your friend.”

• Choose activities that will be fun/interesting/motivating for the child when possible

• Parents can coach other individuals (e.g., waiters/waitresses, store workers, doctor/dentist, neighbors, friends) around asking specific open ended or forced choice questions while engaging in Brave Talking practice

• Practice skills in advance to help prepare for exposure practice

Again, check out our website for example Bingo boards as well as a blank board you can print and fill out at home: https://www.selectivemutism.org/learn/online-library/selective-mutism-activities. Have fun!

Brittany Bice-Urbach, PhD
Member Selective Mutism Board of Directors