This is a story of a friendship between two boys. Ryan, the most outgoing student in the class, meets Daniel who is too scared to talk in school or anywhere outside of his home. Ryan defends Daniel in school against other children who don’t understand the silent boy. Daniel, on the other hand, feels comfortable enough to talk to his new friend. Ryan’s impulse to “talk too much” gives him the ability to help Daniel in the class room. He is willing to continue the friendship until the day when his buddy will be able to talk in school, and other children will get to know the “real” Daniel.
This beautifully illustrated story book is for children with Selective Mutism. It tells them that there are other children like them and that they can make a friend like Ryan. It is also a simple but effective tool to help other children understand why children like Daniel are unable to speak in certain settings. The book encourages children to accept and empathize with other children who are different. It sets an example of how they can reach out and be a good friend to these “shy” children. This book may be enjoyed by all children who are aged from 4 to 8.
This book is not only for selective mutism children. It is also for parents and teachers who want to understand what selective mutism is all about, learn how to help a child with selective mutism, and explain this condition to other children. In fact, there is a section in the book especially written for parents and teachers. For example, both parents and teachers are cautioned against reading the book in the classroom while the child with selective mutism is present or without their permission. Otherwise, what might be initially thought as a teachable moment, might quickly regress into a disastrous situation. Apart from this warning, the section also provides other valuable advice for both parents and teachers on how to deal with an SM child.
It also includes a section for resources for parents and teachers of an SM child, like a list of reference books, as well as a list of organizations dealing with Selective Mutism.
The book was written by Sharon Longo, a teacher and writer, and herself a mother of a child with selective mutism. She has written and published numerous articles on selective mutism and has won several awards for her work.
The book is highly recommended by various professionals involved in the treatment of selective mutism. These include professionals from the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behaviour, University of California, Los Angeles, SMIRA (Selective Mutism Information and Research Association), and the British Medical Association.
Parents who bought this book from Amazon also rated it very highly, giving it top marks. Their glowing reviews provide adequate endorsement to include this book in any collection of selective mutism books for children.