Sources of help for Selective Mutism

For parents

If your child is under 18, parents may be able to access speech therapy (contact your local speech therapy department directly or perhaps via your GP.) Additionally, children may be referred to CAMHS for psychological help. CAMHS are particularly relevant if your child is a little older and develops other issues such as depression. CAMHS may attempt to provide CBT, however this can be entirely innappropriate for many SM children, as CBT is a talking therapy. Therapeutic approaches to SM are much more effective if emphasis is taken away from speech, at least to be begin with. You may also wish to liaise with your child's school's SENCO and teachers. Very small changes to a child's school or college environment can make a world of difference. Arm yourself with literature when interacting with the school or college. They may not have encountered SM before. You may also be able to find a private speech therapist via www.helpwithtalking.com. On their website you can enter a postcode and search for a therapist who specializes in Selective Mutism. Afasic and Afasic Cymru also provide local meet-ups for parents and youth groups where children with SM are welcome.

For adults with SM

The options are much narrower, unfortunately. If you are an adult yourself and can speak to therapists, you may find some benefit in accessing a talking therapy such as counselling or CBT. In general, therapists working with adults will have not have encountered SM before, and you might find yourself educating them. You may be able to access talking therapies through IAPT Services / your GP. You may benefit most by interacting online with other adult sufferers of SM.

For children with SM

If you are a child and are in need of immediate support please contact Childline. They can help you with issues such as unhappiness at school or home, and bullying. And, best of all, you can contact them via e-mail. You do not have to telephone them. Older children / teenagers may also be able to find mutual support in the various facebook groups for this condition. As ever though, please be safe online. People may not be who they appear to be. Never arrange to meet anyone you may encounter online.


Also see

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