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Helping Your Child with Selective Mutism: Practical Steps to Overcome a Fear of Speaking Paperback – August 1, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Taking their school-based approach and adapting it for use by parents, the authors enlarge the audience who can benefit from their sound intervention program. The program is well-organized and employs graduated and systematic strategies that are both reasoned and researched. Building on established principles of learning, the program thoughtfully guides parents in how to teach, shape, and practice a step-by-step method for youth to overcome the fear of speaking. A welcomed addition to the literature that strives to reduce anxiety in youth, I encourage parents to read and apply the program.”
—Philip C. Kendall, Ph.D., ABPP, Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology and director of the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders Clinic at Temple University

“Finally, parents of children who suffer from selective mutism have a comprehensive, well-written resource to help them deal with this challenging problem. This book provides a thorough description of the disorder as well as a detailed, practical, step-by-step program for helping the child overcome selective mutism once and for all. If someone you care about suffers from selective mutism, this book is a must! It is also a great resource for teachers and for professionals who treat selective mutism.”
—Martin M. Antony, Ph.D., ABPP, director of the Anxiety Treatment and Research Centre at St. Joseph’s Healthcare and professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University, Hamilton, ON



“This is, without exception, the best book for parents on the topic of selective mutism I have had the pleasure to read. Loaded with information on the nature and causes of this childhood condition and filled with practical advice on how to cope with and effectively treat it, this book provides parents with a highly useful, trustworthy, science-based program for the child with selective mutism. Few if any professionals have more clinical experience with such children and the treatment of their condition than do McHolm and Cunningham. My congratulations both to the authors for putting together such a finely crafted book and to you, the reader, for having the good sense to buy it.”
—Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D., research professor of psychiatry at the State University of New York Upstate Medical School in Syracuse, NY



“Silence, indeed, is not always golden. Helping Your Child with Selective Mutism is a must-read for parents, educators, clinicians, and developmental researchers. McHolm and her colleagues have provided a scholarly, lucid, and practical account of how to understand and manage the child with selective mutism. The authors’ step-by-step program will help even the most silent child.”
—Louis A. Schmidt, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology and director of the Child Emotion Laboratory at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON



“Finally! A well-informed perspective on an often undiagnosed, mismanaged, and misunderstood childhood anxiety disorder. The practical insights of Drs. McHolm and Cunningham and Ms. Vanier are necessary reading for parents and teachers alike. These are real strategies that can be easily incorporated into a classroom setting! Helping Your Child with Selective Mutism is a necessary addition to the bookshelves of parents and teachers everywhere!”
—Lin Gorenkoff, parent of a child formerly with selective mutism, and facilitator and founder of the Selectively Silent Child Support Group and Web site, www.designandcopy.ca/silentchild

From the Publisher

Three experts in treating selective mutism team up to provide parents with the first book to offer practical strategies for treating children with this potentially isolating anxiety disorder.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 1 edition (August 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157224416X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572244160
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By P. S. Jones on March 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
We have a 4 year old who did not speak at all in preschool for the first several months. We were very worried about her. Her teacher initially misunderstood her behavior, thinking she was just being uncooperative. I initially consulted the website, [...], and shared the information from it with her teacher. Together we implemented several strategies recommended on the website, including a teacher home visit, and realized some positive, albeit limited, results. I then found this book, and again shared it with her teacher. We had a very clear understanding of SM as a result, and implemented some additional strategies suggested in the book (like another teacher home visit, building on the friendships she had outside of school, being cognizant of classroom seating, etc.). To all of our amazement she is a little chatterbox at school now (same school year)!!! I am incredulous that implementing the simple suggestions on the website and in the book had such dramatic results, and highly recommend the book for parents and teachers of children with this problem. THANK YOU to the authors!!!
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Format: Paperback
I've bought nearly every publication about selective mutism available, and this is the best book yet, as it takes into account the most recent research and outlines clear steps for working to help selectively mute children find ways to cope at school and in public. As anyone who knows someone with selective mutism can tell you, there are no magical quick solutions, but this book has a pragmatic optimism that is encouraging to my family.
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I did enjoy this book and it was helpful but it seems to be describe school age children not younger kids and how to recognize the signs. Also a huge amount of the book is working with school's to help recognize it and overcome it. So if your trying to help a child under the school age ( age 5) or your homeschooling then this book may not be for you. It honestly seemed like the only way to do anything was with school since almost every paragraph has a mention of it. So many kids with these issues and other issues now are homeschooled that it would be nice to have a more inclusive book that left out the entire work with school handbook. If your child is in public school though this is a great book.
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As a clinician that has worked extensively in the area of selective mutism, I have read most of the available resources on the topic, and Dr. McHolm's well written and comprehensive book is by far the most valuable. Based upon research findings and the author's years of experience, the book includes information about selective mutism and a detailed, practical description of strategies that can help children become more comfortable speaking. I would strongly recommend this resource to both parents and professionals that are supporting a child with selective mutism.
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As a mother of a child with selective mutism, I can tell how helpful this book can be. Practical and comprehensive, it helps you rate your child's level of selective mutism and gives hints on how to work your way up the ladder of a child's social relationships. Feels good to see the progress. If your child is well described by the first chapter, then get a copy of this book for the teachers.
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This is the first book I would buy after receiving a Selective Mutism diagnosis. It's well written and organized in a logical step-by-step fashion. Well worth the money.

I also highly recommend Maggie Johnson's "The Selective Mutism Resource Manual". It's pricey by comparison, but worth the cost.
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As an Educational Consultant, I am always looking for resources that will help parents support their children, as well as act as professional readings for our teachers. Dr. McHolm's book "Helping Your Child with Selective Mutism" is just such a resource!

Dr. McHolm's book is a practical, easy to understand guide that shows a true understanding of both the child's and the school's needs. It takes the parent through the steps that will lead a child with Selective Mutism to talk and interact with others.

The case studies and journal examples make it clear to the reader what the "next step" should look like and how to implement it. It also gives parents and teachers simple ways to support these children as they learn to successfully cope with their anxiety of speaking to/in front of others.

In the past, little has existed on the topic of Selective Mutism. Dr. McHolm et al have written a comprehensive tool that sheds much needed light onto this topic. It is thoughtful and thought-provoking.

A must have for anyone that has a child with Selective Mutism in their life!

Sharlene

Educational Consultant - Guidance K-12

Ontario, Canada
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I bought this book and "The Selective Mutism Resource Manual" together last week because my 5-year-old girl did not speak up in the nursery school even though she had been there for 3 years. The 2 books describe very similar behavioral programs. The only difference is that "Resource Manual" emphasizes that you need to be open and frank with the child: acknowledge his/her difficulties, give him/her some explanation for them and reassure the child that you will be able to help. This book does not advocate such an open approach.
For my daughter's case, I chose the frank talk approach. I figured out that she was afraid that people would not respond when she talked in school. I told her this concern was natural because she did not speak English when she started school. Besides, every one in our family talks softly while the school is full of loud kids. I told her to use people's names and talk in a louder voice to get their attention, and that her teachers and I would help her learn. This simple talk seemed to do the trick. We had this talk last week. This week, she is much more willing to try the social skills that I have been trying to teach her. She had a play date today, and she talked with her friend back and forth. It never happened before. I could not believe my ears.
In short, I strongly recommend "The Selective Mutism Resource Manual" if you have a child that is reluctant to speak up.
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