Last week I went to a fabulous presentation on selective mutism.  What is selective mutism?  It occurs when a child will not speak in a certain situation (most typically school), but will speak in other situations freely.  A child can exhibit selective mutism with a change in person (a child is talking freely at a restaurant, but sees someone from school and immediately shuts down) or a change in location (talks freely at home, but not at school).  These children are not just shy, but have NO COMMUNICATION - that means no verbal communication, no non-verbal communication (pointing, gestures, writing, etc), and no facial expressions.  These kids don't make any sounds at all.

The presentation was using the S-CAT method (Social Communication Anxiety Treatment).  One of the neatest things that I saw at the conference and had never thought of was to have the kids let you know how scary an activity is.  Now, this chart would be used with a kid who has begun to use some verbal communication and is slowly overcoming selective mutism.  After each activity, you have the child point to the scary chart and let him/her tell you how scary an activity is.  This allows the child to realize that a communication activity (whether is verbal or nonverbal communication) is not as scary as they thought.  It also gives the therapist feedback to know if the child is ready for that activity or not. 

This chart could also be adapted and used with kids who are dysfluent.  The pictures could depict how the child feels about a particular speaking task and their stutters. 

This is just a quick chart that I made up.  Feel free to print off the pdf version here or make your own!

10/13/2013 01:21:39 pm

If a man has any greatness in him, it comes to light, not in one flamboyant hour, but in the ledger of his daily work.


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