Thalia and her husband noticed their son, Zane, had Selective Mutism when he stopped talking to everyone (except his parents) at 18-months-old. He was mute in all settings.
“We tried to find help in our area, but no one was specialized in [treating] selective mutism. After almost two years of Zane being mute, at 4-years-old, I was desperate and googling for help and found the SMart Center. We went to CommuniCamp™ and within 3 days, he started whispering,” Thalia said.
The SMart Center views SM as a social communication anxiety where mutism is merely a symptom. The key to an effective treatment plan is understanding factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of SM as well as understanding a child’s baseline stage of social communication on the Social Communication Bridge®. Zane’s parents learned this at CommuniCamp™ and discovered that Zane’s “anxiety, mutism, eating disorders, and behavior were all connected. It just made sense and for once in my life I had hope.”
After kick-starting treatment in-person at the CommuniCamp™ Intensive Group Treatment and Parent Training Program, and with Individualized Follow-Up Consultation via web-conference approximately once every three months, Thalia reports, “today my son is going to kindergarten and is flourishing in school, he is happy and doesn’t stop talking. It’s been amazing and I can’t thank the SMart Center enough for helping my family and son, with our continued help and [individualized] therapy with the SMart Center I know Zane is going to be ok.”
What does say Zane have to say about his journey? “He says speaking is way more fun than being mute.”
If you are considering enrolling your family in an upcoming CommuniCamp™ Intensive Group Treatment & Parent Training Program with the SMart Center and would like to speak with Zane’s mom about her experience, please email CommuniCamp@SelectiveMutismCenter.org so we can connect you!
To effectively overcome Selective Mutism and all anxieties, an individual needs to be involved in a treatment program, such as those rooted in evidenced-based Social Communication Anxiety Treatment® (S-CAT®), like Individualized Intensives and CommuniCamp. Developed by Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum, this holistic or “whole-person” treatment approach is designed to reduce anxiety, build self-esteem, increase social comfort and communication in all settings.
As a physician, Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum (“Dr. E”) views SM as a social communication anxiety where mutism is merely a symptom. The key to an effective treatment plan is understanding factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of SM as well as understanding a child’s baseline stage of social communication on the Social Communication Bridge®. Then, working as a team, the treatment professional, parents, and school staff members help the child build coping skills to combat anxious feelings and to progress across the Social Communication Bridge©.