My Friend Daniel Doesn’t Talk


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By Sharon Longo

This beautifully illustrated book can be used to educate children so they may understand that there are children like Daniel who are so “shy” or socially anxious that they are unable to talk to others. It offers empathy to the child who is still mute at school, helping the child and peers to understand the situation better. This book may be suitable for friends and/or siblings of a selectively mute child. This is also an excellent classroom resource to help teachers understand SM and explain it to their students.

Sharon Longo’s Book, “My Friend Daniel Doesn’t Talk” (Speechmark Publishing, October 2006), won the title of Highly Commended in the 2007 British Medical Association Patient Information Award (Printed Materials).

Here’s what the judges had to say about Sharon’s book…

‘This leaflet has been written by a parent of a child with selective mutism who has written numerous articles on the subject. It is written for children to help explain some of the issues around children who ‘don’t talk’ and has been beautifully produced and introduces a sensitive topic via a lovely story about friendship which is a great way to engage with children and inform them about a subject without making it ‘an issue’ and risk stigmatising a child even more… I loved the illustrations and the characters were portrayed with a gentleness and sensitivity which made the story very likeable. The humour in the story is subtle and effective and unlike many ‘stories with a message’ written for children, this book is a pleasurable read in its own right, and stands up as a lovely story book, but with the added bonus of including the universal theme of ‘being different’ and in particular providing a basic explanation for selective mutism. I really loved this book. What really came through, is that it was written with real thought, care and from someone who really understands and empathises with the subject matter. Well done!’