News and Resources
Participate In Research For Selective Mutism!
Do you have a child with diagnosed or suspected Selective Mutism? Interested in participating in research?
Researchers at Eastern Michigan University are seeking parents of children with diagnosed or
suspected selective mutism to participate in an online research study called the Parent-Related
Influences in Selective Mutism (PRISM) Study. We know that there are many myths about
parents of children with selective mutism, so we are conducting this study to gather empirical
data and learn more information about parents of children with selective mutism. We hope that
this research will spread awareness about selective mutism, with the goal of helping families like
To participate, you may visit the study website at www.emuprismstudy.com. Participation will only take about 30 minutes. As compensation for your time, participants will be entered into a drawing to win one of four $25 gift cards!
If you have any questions, you may email the study coordinator, Kira Boneff, MS, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Psychological Coping During a Pandemic
Novel and unfamiliar threats provoke anxiety and even unrealistic fears and racism. Social distancing, effective communication, and public health measures are realistic lines of defense. You can also take steps to manage your own stress.
1. Limit Media Consumption
to just enough to stay informed. Take time for yourself, or spend time with friends and family doing things you enjoy.
2. Avoid Discussions About The Event
if they have the potential to escalate to conflict. Be cognizant of the frequency with which you’re discussing the news.
3. Remember That Life Will Go On
People have always survived difficult life circumstances. Avoid catastrophizing & maintain a balanced perspective.
4. Build Your Resilience
We can learn to adapt well to stress – how have you coped with stressors before? Add resilience tools to your tool bag to manage life’s adversities.
5. Keep Connected
Maintain your social networks where possible (even via social media and telephone).
6. Keep Things In Perspective
Our government needs to prepare for possible worst-case scenarios to protect us. We, however, do not need to expect the worst.
7. Have A Plan
How would you respond if you or a loved one were diagnosed with COVID-19? Developing contingency plans can lessen your anxiety.
8. When to Seek Professional Help
Contact a psychologist if you feel nervousness or sadness adversely affecting you, or if you are struggling with daily activities.
Psychologists’ Association of Alberta
Returning to School During The COVID-19 Pandemic: Tips for Youth with Selective Mutism
Talk with your child about their feelings related to going back to school and encourage them to share their feelings honestly. Help them label their feelings and validate their emotions.
"It makes sense that you might feel a bit worried"
Provide your child with information about things you do know about this school year and acknowledge the information that remains uncertain. Clarifying between the "known" and "unknown" may help manage your child's anxiety during this unique transition back to school.
Schedule socially distant or virtual playdates with your child's friends or classmates to help them increase their brave talking before school begins.
If your child is returning to school in person, schedule a time to visit the school property. For remote learning, set up your child’s at-home works space and have them practice logging into video sessions.
Schedule in-person or virtual meetups with your child’s teacher(s) to increase the likelihood that they will be verbal with the teacher when school begins. Have your child practice talking with you in the presence of the new teacher(s).
Have your child practice talking while wearing a mask and remind them that they may need to increase their volume so others can hear them. Validate that it is hard for everyone to speak up while wearing a mask.
Parents and caregivers of youth with selective mutism have a challenging job in navigating this year’s transition back to school. These suggestions are intended to empower caregivers to find flexible ways to support their children with their brave talking goals whether it be in a remote, hybrid, or in-person school setting. While it may be challenging, it is not impossible to build bravery! Continue collaborating with your child’s therapist for additional support and individualized recommendations.
TIPS FOR FADE-IN SESSIONS I
Fade-in sessions are opportunities for your child to meet up with their teacher(s) before the school year begins.
Prior to the meetup, tell the teacher to not ask any direct questions until your prompt. Practice talking with your child in front of the teacher(s) first.
Use games and activities without verbal demands (e.g., Jenga, Connect 4, drawing) so your child learns to tolerate being comfortable in the presence of someone new.
For virtual meetups, use online games without verbal demands (e.g., Scavenger Hunt, drawing or Tic-Tac-Toe using a shared white board) to build rapport and to help your child remain in front of the computer. The teacher can gradually join the play.
If your child is resistant, try having the teacher join without their camera on or try minimizing the size of the teacher's window at first. Gradually include the teacher or increase the size of the window as your child becomes more verbal.
Boston Child Study CenterExpert Mental Health Treatment, Training, & Research