Meet Zoe

When Zoe was three years old, her family began to notice that she was not verbal at all during pre-school or when she was at family gatherings. After a family friend recommended the SMart Center, Zoe began treatment with an Individualized Intensive and then attended CommuniCamp™. Now, Zoe can verbalize with teachers and peers and her confidence has grown immensely!

Read more about Zoe’s SM journey below!

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

3 years old.

Please briefly summarize where/when your child was mute/not mute.

She was not verbal at her pre-school and during gathering with family friends and in stores or restaurants.

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


What brought you to seek treatment at the SMart Center?

We learned about SMart Center through a friend’s recommendation. When I checked their website, I was amazed that they specialize in selective mutism and have so many resources and information available already on the website. We also appreciated Dr. E’s first-hand experience with her daughter on how she overcame SM so that gave us hope. The S-CAT treatment is very practical and we were able to apply it right away and saw the difference with our daughter after our first intensive individualized therapy. It was a game to her without even realizing it was therapy. The parent coaching changed our attitude about our daughter and helped us understand her better.

What SMart Center services did you use?

  • S-CAT® Individualized Intensive Treatment Program (One- or Two-Day)
  • CommuniCamp™ Intensive Group Treatment & Parent Training Program
  • Parent Training & Coaching
  • School Consultation
  • Follow-Ups
  • Psychotherapy
  • Virtual groups
  • Books, Webinars, and Podcast

How often do/did you consult with the SMart Center?

In the beginning every month for at least 6 months then it became less frequent to as needed.

What changes have you noticed?

In the beginning, she was able to start giving her orders at the restaurants then it progressed to being able to answer common questions by family members and other strangers. She was able to communicate with her preschool teacher during summer school. From kindergarten she has been progressing every year at school, being able to talk to her Teacher and peers. She raises her hand to answer questions in her class. She is able to read in front of her class, do presentation to her class and in front of the entire school. Her confidence has been improving every year that now she’s part of 2 musical and she has a short line in Matilda Jr for a community theater group. She is more willing to try new things like she joined volleyball at her school for the first time this year. She volunteers at her class when her help is needed. She is more comfortable with with asking her Teachers for help or clarification when needed.

What S-CAT® strategies helped the most?

All of them. Each strategy has a purpose and has helped her progress on her bridge of communication. It has been a great help to us her parents as well.

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

Meet and understand your child where they are at. Your child will feel the difference when there is no pressure on them anymore with speaking. Apply the S-CAT strategies diligently as soon as possible because it works. It takes a village to raise a child so find and build your village. Teach your family and friends about SM and S-SCAT because it will make a difference on how they interact with your child. Do school consulations because equipping your child’s Teacher/s with the knowledge and strategies that will help your child will do wonders on her confidence and improvement at school. The journey to overcoming SM is not easy but is doable so never give up. Your child deserves all the support you can give and find for them! There is hope.