Meet Rachel

Rachel was around 2 years old when her parents realized she was mute in public settings. During pre-school, Rachel was diagnosed with Selective Mutism. After trying other treatment approaches, the Gordon family found the SMart Center. Rachel now is a shining star in more ways than one with her phenomenal singing and acting skills! She has made appearances on TV, commercials, and the news as well as performing across the country on Broadway. Rachel has made so much progress in her Selective Mutism journey and as she says “I found my voice and you can too!”

Read more about Rachel’s SM journey below!

How old was your child when you first noticed she was mute in select settings?

2 years old

Please briefly summarize which settings your child was mute in. 

Rachel has always been a happy child at home, talking and singing like any other kids. But in public places and in the classroom, she would freeze and not look at anyone when spoken to. She had never spoken a word in the classroom and was isolated. Her pre-school teachers recommended an evaluation and she was formally diagnosed with Selective Mutism at 2.5 years old.

Was your child in treatment for Selective Mutism, Social Anxiety, or related disorders before finding the SMart Center? If yes, where?

Yes. Rachel saw neurologists and psychologists about mutism. She also received early intervention from the district. She had a SEIT to help her in the classroom and a social worker who works with her on managing anxiety.

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 much research on Selective Mutism, we found SMart Center and we were very impressed with Dr. E’s S-CAT strategies. We utilized many of her strategies and found success with her specific methodology about “treating the whole person” and making Rachel feel comfortable (rather than focusing on the need to talk).

What SMart Center services did you use? Select all that apply:

  • Books
  • Webinars
  • Podcast (Materials on the website and online)

How often do you consult with the SMart Center?


What changes have you noticed? Please describe your child’s overall progress, including functioning in school, at home, with friends and teachers, and any changes you have seen since starting treatment.

It took a village of people! Treatment providers and educators as well as family friends   Rachel was also fortunate to have found her love for performing, which gave her much confidence!

What S-CAT® strategies helped the most?

There’s no one strategy that helped the most. Dr. E’s mantra about “treating the whole person” along with a village of people helped Rachel overcome SM and get to where she is today.

Do you have any “key” advice for parents going through it now?

Patience is key. There’s no immediate cure but SM can definitely get better with help! It is a process that takes time and requires the tight cooperation of family, school, teachers, friends, and therapists to help the child make progress. Miracles do happen – as with Rachel… from not speaking at all to performing for thousands live on stage!

How is Rachel feeling now? 

“I feel really happy that I did not give up and kept trying. I found my voice and you can too!”