MY CHILD WON’T TALK: Raising A Child With Selective Mutism

Published on July 10, 2020 by

Introducing three families whose children suffer from the strange and isolating condition called selective mutism.

They are children who can talk and inside the family home, do talk, often quite noisily. But, in public, they are seized with an anxiety about speaking which is so acute it renders them mute.

They are unable to speak in class at school, to friends, to grandparents. Untreated, the condition destroys any prospect of a normal social life. But treatment is long term and painstaking. The prospect of speaking in public makes these children’s heart race, makes them sweaty, breathless and paralysed by anxiety.

We meet seven year old Red, whose granddad has never heard a single word from his only granddaughter. We meet Megan, cut off from the rest of her school class by her fear of speaking. And we meet Danielle, who, at 15, seems to be a recovered mute. Danielle’s story shows us the persistence and insidiousness of the condition as it starts to creep back and steal away her speech again.

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