“Maya’s Voice” is a story of a little girl who is full of energy and enthusiasm, and who loves to share her sweet voice. She likes to sing and play with her sister, and she’s very curious and asks a lot of questions.
But when she starts school, she loses the confidence to use her voice and goes about her school day facing challenges brought on by her inability to speak. Maya’s classmates start asking the teacher “Why doesn’t Maya talk?”. Whenever the teacher asks her a question, they start talking for her and say things like “Oh, she doesn’t talk, so we’ll just answer that question for her”. She sometimes receives mean comments and actions, because the kids know that she is not going to tell on them, because she won’t speak. And as a result of all these challenges, she doesn’t want to go to school.
And as the story progresses, with patience, understanding, and love from children in her class as well as her teacher, Maya builds her courage and confidence. She slowly starts to use her voice, at first just whispering to her teacher, until finally, she is able to confidently share her sweet voice.
The short, simple, and beautifully illustrated book is for children with Selective Mutism, ages six years old and younger. The book may be read by both sexes, but some boys may not identify as easily. It may be used to help a child with selective mutism understand her condition, and to let her know that there are other children who are just like her. As with most selective mutism books for children, much of the story takes place in a school setting, where the child feels great anxiety. The book is also a helpful way for parents to realize what their child is going through.
At the back of the book is a short description of selective mutism, and a discussion on some ways a parent can communicate better with her child about the condition.
For comprehensive advice and information on selective mutism, please see “The Selective Mutism Resource Manual”. Topics will include selective mutism tests, diagnosis, and treatment, selective mutism in adults and teenagers, progressive mutism and links with autism and other anxiety disorders.
This is the first picture book by Wenwen Cheng, and it is inspired by the experiences of her own child who has selective mutism. By sharing stories like these, she hopes that she can help children understand and celebrate each other’s differences.
Customers who bought this book on Amazon rated it very highly. Ninety-seven percent of the reviewers gave it a four-star rating or better. Click here to see the customer reviews.
The book has also been often mentioned favorably at the SMIRA (Selective Mutism Information and Research Association) Facebook group.
Another great thing about this picture book is that it is available in paperback as well as in Kindle eBook format. So parents can read the book with their child the traditional way, or on a Kindle eBook Reader, or any mobile device that supports the Kindle format.