Teachers can be great allies in keeping your child with Selective Mutism safe and successful in school, but you'll need to make sure they have all the knowledge they need to help. Use these suggestions to create an information packet to bring educators up to speed.
Five Things Teachers Need to Know
1. My child's silence in school is due to severe anxiety, not a speech problem or a behavior problem.
2. Please do not try to force my child to speak, or punish her when she doesn't. This will increase her anxiety and make the situation worse.
3. Don't make a big deal if you hear him speak to a peer or another adult. He will speak when he is able.
4. My child may struggle with public speaking, but she has many other areas in which she does well. Please be alert and receptive to the things that make her unique and special.
5. Please keep the lines of communication open between our home and the school. My child needs all the adults in her life working together.
Printouts to Share with Teachers
Selective Mutism: Suggestions for Teachers
Source: The Association of Chief Psychologists with Ontario School Boards
Helping Our Teachers Understand Selective Mutism (pdf)
Source: Selective Mutism Anxiety Research & Treatment Center
Selective Mutism Fact Sheet
Source: San Ramon Valley Unified School District
Classroom Strategies for Teachers of Selectively Mute Children
Source: Gail Kervatt, M.Ed.
Source: Homeroom Teacher