Alex was 3 years old when her mom first noticed her child was mute in almost all social situations. After some research, Alex’s mom discovered the SMart Center. According to Alex, the SMart Center “seemed like the only treatment center that offered any concrete hope and explanation for what I was experiencing.” Leveraging the Center’s Individual Treatment and Assessments, Alex was able to gradually build comfort in social settings. Today, Alex is a college grad who, in her own words, is “more outgoing than both (of her) parents.”
Read more about Alex’s SM journey below!
How old were you when you first noticed you were mute in select settings?
3 years old.
Please briefly summarize which settings you were mute in.
I was mute in almost all settings besides at home and with people I felt comfortable (my immediate family and very few friends). For example, I would speak freely in an unfamiliar environment if I was with someone very familiar, but I would become mute as soon as anyone else entered the space.
Were you in treatment for Selective Mutism, Social Anxiety, or related disorders before you found the SMart Center?
What brought you to seek treatment at the SMart Center? What makes S-CAT® treatment different from other methods you may have tried before finding the SMart Center, if any?
After extensive research, my mom finally found out what selective mutism is through discovering the SMart Center. It seemed like the only treatment center that offered any concrete hope and explanation for what I was experiencing.
Which SMart Center services did you use?
- Treatment Professional Consultation
How often do/did you consult with the SMart Center?
Once when I was in second grade, and now I consult with them all the time. 😊
What changes have you noticed? Please describe your overall progress, including functioning in school, at home, with friends and teachers, and any changes you have seen since starting treatment.
I was able to gradually build comfort in settings where I used to feel very uncomfortable, such as the classroom. I was able to slowly make more friends in a one-on-one setting outside the classroom, allowing me to increase comfort levels when I went back into the classroom.
Which S-CAT® strategies helped the most?
Comfort proceeds communication. Building comfort in my environment was a huge factor in eventually allowing me to communicate in that environment.
Do you have any “key” advice for anyone battling Selective Mutism now?
Be patient, understand what you need, and – parents — love your children for who they are!
How are you feeling now?
I feel great! I am confident in my communication skills and I am now more outgoing than both of my parents. 🙂