Raising a child with Selective Mutism (SM) presents a unique set of challenges for parents. Children with SM battle specific behavioral, social, emotional academic and physical challenges.  

Here are specific challenges for parents raising a child with Selective Mutism: 


  • Stubbornness 
  • Inflexible 
  • Procrastination 
  • Overly assertive and/or bossy 
  • Controlling 
  • Consistent tantrums and/or frequest crying 
  • Increased anger 
  • Impulsiveness 


  • Tendency to withdrawal 
  • Tendency to isolate 


  • Heightened anxiety 
  • Co-morbid anxiety disorder (Separation Anxiety Disorder, ADHD, etc.) 
  • Proneness to depression 
  • Low self-esteem and self-worth 


  • Decline in academic performance 
  • Underachieving in the classroom 
  • Dropping out of school or refusal to attend 


  • Physical illness 
  • Higher mortality rate  

Here are some simple ways to help a child or teen with Selective Mutism:

  • Seek professional help 
  • Provide structure and predictability 
  • Seek our calm and quiet environments, especially when you sense your child has heightened levels of anxiety. 
  • Be firm, but understanding 
  • Talk to your child about what they are feeling 

With professional help, consistent treatment and a positive mindset, parents can be an ally for their child as they work to overcome their mutism and become fully functioning in all social situations.