October is Selective Mutism Awareness month.
It is encouraging to note that Selective Mutism is gaining awareness as evidenced by the increasing number of Selective Mutism books being published. However, it is also disheartening to see that myths commonly associated with SM continue to persist. For example, this Goodreads list of books is supposed to have characters suffering from SM. However, most of the characters acquired their SM identity from some traumatic event. This just reinforces the surreal myth that SM is caused by physical or emotional trauma. This is unfortunate, as several studies have consistently shown that no such link exists between SM and trauma.
Until such myths are erased from public consciousness, efforts must continue to promote Selective Mutism Awareness. As such, blog posts such this, this, and this should be commended and encouraged.
Meanwhile, here’s a list of books that feature characters with Selective Mutism. These books accurately depict the SM condition.
UPDATE: D.J. Sharry, the author of Persona Medusa: A Tale of Selective Mutism & Social Anxiety has verified on Goodreads that his book is autobiographical and not fiction. Nevertheless, it is still included in this list for record purposes, with this note attached to provide clarification. A separate list of biographical works shall be posted at a later date. Please stay tuned.
UPDATE: Here’s the list of memoirs of people with Selective Mutism.
Continue reading “Selective Mutism in Fiction”
Selective Mutism is a complex childhood anxiety disorder characterized by a child’s glaring inability to speak and communicate effectively in select social settings, such as school, despite being able to speak in other situations. The book “Easing School Jitters For the Selectively Mute Child” by Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum attempts to provide guidance on how to deal with this condition in the school.
Continue reading “Easing School Jitters For the Selectively Mute Child”
“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.
Continue reading ““Maya’s Voice” – A Review of a Book for Children with Selective Mutism”
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.
Continue reading ““My Friend Daniel Doesn’t Talk” – A Review”