Medication and Therapy for SM

A question I'm often asked is what I think about medication for SM. Some people are very dogmatic in their belief that medication should never be used in children, like messing with the batter before the cookies are even baked. If you are like that, then more power to you because the natural ways are of course ideal. I do believe medication can help when used correctly. It can definitely be a great tool to physiologically lower your levels of anxiety. However, we have to realize it's only a tool, not the solution itself. If your child is young enough…
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Selective Mutism and Sports

One topic that I think isn't really discussed very much when it comes to SM is sports. Sports have helped a lot of kids who have SM to break through. I have met others who have cited things like soccer or ice skating as the impetus that helped them to start communicating verbally. When I used to play tennis, I'd notice that when I was playing, it was easier for me to talk once the tank was empty and I was tired out. Well, why is that? Let's look at why sports can be such a positive influence. I'm not…
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Letter from a reader

This is a letter from a person called Blue Bird, who is in college, but is also struggling like many of us. If you would like to give some encouraging words, be sure to leave a comment! Hi everyone! I'm a Junior in college who has never been diagnosed with selective mutism, but I know for a fact that I have it. Like many here I'm pretty sure that I had it before it was 'discovered.' I have always felt that I was different from the rest of kids, but I had never known why. All I knew was that…
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Growing Up with Selective Mutism

Today we have a special guest writer. Her name is Julie, and she grew up with selective mutism. For most of her school life, she was shackled by silence until a kind family took her in and guided her to break those chains. The most striking thing about her story is that after she graduated from school, she could not fit in with the rest of the community because of the long term effects that SM had on her, and she became very depressed. For those of us who have been through hard times, this could very well be a…
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Review: The SM Treatment Guide

Here is an exciting new book for people searching for answers about selective mutism. A veteran clinician named Ruth Perednik has recently released a manual on how to understand and help the SM child. The book is called The Selective Mutism Treatment Guide. According to Perednik, "Children with SM usually respond well to the appropriate treatment and break free of their silent shackles in a relatively short-term intervention program. What's more, most of them become regular, normative children once they overcome selective mutism." Her book is divided into three sections: one manual for the parents, one for the teachers, and one…
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Emotional Regulation in SM Kids

A new study shows that children with selective mutism are more chronically over-aroused than children with social phobia alone. Although they outwardly appear similar to their social phobia counterparts, kids with sm struggle with a constant alertness more often than other kids. In the study led by Deborah Beidel, , ABPP, children with sm and children with social phobia were tested while playing the Nintendo Wii, with a device that measures skin conductance (like what a lie detector looks for, or what an 'e-meter' from the Church of Scientology measures - when something affects you emotionally, it responds). What Beidel found…
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