Selective Mutism books

If you are wishing to understand Selective Mutism, you may find the following books interesting reading:

Selective Mutism In Our Own Words

Experiences in childhood and adulthood

Carl Sutton & Cheryl Forrester of iSpeak. Foreword by  Donna Williams. Cover art by  Kimberly Gerry-Tucker.
Jessica Kingsley Publishers (21st December 2015)
ISBN-10: 1849056366
ISBN-13: 978-1849056366
An eye-opening and enlightening collection of stories from people living with Selective Mutism (SM), this book provides a much-needed platform for people with SM to share experiences of the condition in their own words.
Exploring all aspects of SM, from symptoms and diagnostic criteria, to triggers and the consequences of being psychologically unable to speak, the stories in this book dispel the myths around this often misunderstood condition. Far from refusing to talk, or choosing not to, the contributors offer genuine insights into why they simply cannot speak in certain situations or in front of certain people. Children, teens and adults from the UK and US share experiences of feeling isolated, struggling at school, and finding ways to communicate. Letting people with SM know that they are not alone with the condition, the book will also help family, friends and professionals to understand what it is like to live with SM.

Chapter list

  • Acknowledgements.
  • Foreword by Donna Williams.
  • Preface.
  • 1. An experiential introduction to Selective Mutism.
  • 2. Selective Mutism - what it is in our own words.
  • 3. Early life and Selective Mutism.
  • 4. Early school experience and Selective Mutism.
  • 5. High school experience and Selective Mutism.
  • 6. Parents' experiences of high school and home-schooling.
  • 7. Becoming an adult with Selective Mutism.
  • 8. Bullying and Selective Mutism.
  • 9. Mutism, family relationships, and the home environment.
  • 10. Those who spoke for me.
  • 11. Selective Mutism and Asperger Syndrome.
  • 12. Selective Mutism and Learning Difficulties.
  • 13. Parents' experiences of Selective Mutism.
  • 14. Therapists' experiences of Selective Mutism.
  • 15. A teacher's experience of helping a child with Selective Mutism to find her voice.
  • 16. How different life would have been without Selective Mutism.
  • 17. Life Stories.
  • Appendix A: Helping a new partner join a family where there is a child with Selective Mutism.
  • Appendix B: The reasons why I dislike school.
  • References.
  • Index.


Finally a book to dispel the myth that SM is an exclusively childhood condition. My greatest hope is that this valuable contribution to the field will not only improve understanding of the nature and far-reaching effects of SM, but help mobilise Health Services to provide appropriate support for both children and adults.
Maggie Johnson, FRCSLT, Joint author of the Selective Mutism Resource Manual and Can I Tell You About Selective Mutism?
This must-read book educates about the emotional challenges of Selective Mutism experienced by all involved. From being bullied to overcoming obstacles, Sutton and Forrester expertly weave heartbreaking and uplifting moments through personal stories that read like journal entries. This is a resource that should be on all clinician’s shelves.
 Joleen R. Fernald, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL, Selective Mutism Expert
A fascinating and beautiful glance into the lives of individuals with Selective Mutism and those who love and support them.
 Aimee Kotrba, PhD, Author of Selective Mutism: An Assessment and Intervention Guide for Therapists, Educators, and Parents
A wonderful book that is certain to shed new light on the inner lives of those with Selective Mutism.
 Marian Moldan, LCSW-R, Author of  Charli's Choices (Illustrated by  Toby Allen)

About the book

Selective Mutism (SM) is a situational anxiety disorder which generally begins in early childhood but which can sometimes continue unabated into adult life. A child or adult with SM cannot speak in certain situations due to fears of initiating speech / being overheard.
Children with SM may find themselves unable to speak for the entirety of their school lives. In some instances the school environment can cause so much stress for a child that they require home schooling. In adolescence and adulthood the repercussions of SM can be depression and other anxiety disorders (e.g. Agoraphobia, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Generalised Anxiety Disorder); severe social isolation; difficulty finding or maintaining employment; difficulty attaining romantic relationships; and so on.
As someone with a long experience of SM myself, I did not feel that there were sufficient first-hand experiences of Selective Mutism in published literature and so I created this book, Selective Mutism In Our Own Words, to bring lived experience of this anxiety disorder - including my own experience - into the public domain.
The book looks at the experience of SM in all age groups - from early childhood all the way to adulthood. It contains the lived experiences of around 40 people from the US and UK who write about Selective Mutism in their own words. Also included are candid first-hand accounts of living with a dual diagnosis of Selective Mutism and an Autism Spectrum Disorder and parents', therapists' and a teacher's perspectives of this condition.

About the authors

Carl Sutton and Cheryl Forrester run iSpeak. Carl both has personal experience of Selective Mutism and also carried out academic research into Selective Mutism at the University of Chester, UK. Cheryl is a qualified social worker, person-centred counsellor, and nurse. They live in North Wales, UK. The foreword to the book was written by Donna Williams, best-selling autism author.
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Tackling Selective Mutism:

A guide for professionals and parents

Alice Sluckin & Benita Rae Smith
Contributions by: Miriam Jemmett, Denise Lanes, Kate Jones, David Bramble, Charlotte Firth, Rosemary Sage, Carl Sutton, Keiko Kakuta, Tony Cline, Nitza Katz-Bernstein, Victoria Roe, Lindsay Whittington, Jyoti Sharma, Geoffrey Gibson, Jane Kay, Hilary M Cleator, Alison Wintgens, Jenny Packer, Johnston Susan, and Maggie Johnson
Jessica Kingsley Publishers (28th Sept 2014)
ISBN-10: 1849053936
ISBN-13: 978-1849053938
In this definitive guide to Selective Mutism, the latest research and understanding are consolidated in chapters from experts in the fields of speech therapy, psychology, music therapy and education and communication. It includes helpful information on the various treatment and therapeutic options with illustrative case studies.
 Available now from Amazon
 Available now from Jessica Kingsley Publishers

I have something to say!

An exploration into the heart and mind of my Selective Mutism

 Kathryn Harper
Green Cup Publishing (23 July 2015)
ISBN-10: 047332816X
ISBN-13: 978-0473328160
Kathryn Harper suffered from selective mutism as a child when very little was known about this frequently misunderstood condition. In her teens and early adult years she developed further complications as a result of her untreated anxiety. Today, it is important to Kathryn to share her perspective, which she has been able to develop using the benefit of hindsight, and a willingness to explore her past. She hopes that this book will provide insights and a greater understanding for people whose lives are affected in some way by selective mutism. "I have wanted to write this book since 1985. As a six year old girl I had no idea that selective mutism even existed, but my silence was palpable and inside of it I was developing all kinds of conversations, explanations, questions, and insights ..."
 Available now from Amazon

The Voice of the Xenolith

Cynthia Pelman
Grosvenor House Publishing Limited (8. Jun 2015)
ISBN-10: 1781484708
ISBN-13: 978-1781484708
Thirteen-year-old Amethyst does not get on with her teachers. Her classmates think she is weird. She prefers to be on her own, and she wishes she did not have to go to school. Amethyst reads detective stories, collects fossils, loves archaeology, and is writing her own dictionary. She has trained herself to become an expert in tracking, searching and following clues, and she uses these detective skills to search for someone who was murdered seventy years ago. Amethyst reaches out across time and space and in doing so finds her own voice among the many meanings of silence.
 Available now from Amazon

Under The Banana Moon

A True Story of Living, Loving, Loss and Asperger's

Kimberly Gerry-Tucker. Foreword by  Donna Williams.
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (9 Jan. 2015)
ISBN-10: 150572886X
ISBN-13: 978-1505728866
To Kim Tucker, solidly in the Asperger's section of the autism spectrum, the colors blue and green and gray are not just colors, but rather whole worlds of iridescent life. Likewise, to say that Under the Banana Moon is full of laughter and love and heartbreak is to only scratch the surface. Growing up, Kim couldn't speak when there was more than one person present, and sometimes even then her words failed her. But she could always write. More comfortable in the company of cats, or passing notes to grandmother, she found peace where she could, and avoided the frightful parts of the world—like anything that was the color green. But school brought whole new worlds of fear: other kids. Their words and feelings were indecipherable. Their touch was toxic. She survived with scars. As a teenager, she felt the same urges as her peers but went about it in extreme ways: when she drank, she went to the hospital; when she dated, she got married. Her husband, Howie, was her high school sweetheart. He was also her best friend and the father of her three children. He took care of her and managed her disability. When he was diagnosed with ALS, their roles reversed, the world collapsed—but they kept going. Some things Kim could never learn (like how to drive a car... without crashing), but some things she could. Like how to help her husband die, and how to live to tell the story. In her book, as in her life, tears and laughter are like a rhyming couplet, similar expressions of the same deep feeling. Only with both can Kim tell her story which is, in the end, about perseverance, and joy, and love beyond lifetime.
 Available now from Amazon

Persona Medusa

A Tale of Selective Mutism & Social Anxiety

Mr D. J. Sharry
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (1 Aug. 2015)
ISBN-10: 1515186407
ISBN-13: 978-1515186403
Persona Medusa is the story of a boy, DJ, who upon starting school is struck by an overwhelming force of anxiety. The anxiety is so strong that he physically cannot speak or move a muscle when the expectation to speak is on him. This anxiety disorder is known as Selective Mutism. He continues to experience the same anxiety and paralysis of voice and body each day at every expectation to speak such as, the roll call, class-mates trying to speak to him, his pencil breaking, his paint brush drying, the teachers asking him questions, break times and worst of all being unable to ask to use the toilet. DJ has a safe place home where he can speak and move freely but this is slowly eroded by the immense anxiety that attacks him in his away from home life. The anxiety and shame follows DJ as he leaves school, starts college, travels, enters the work force, makes and loses friends and falls in love with his future wife, Anita. With his marriage coming up DJ decides he wants to give a speech but first he must make peace with the intense anxiety that confronted him at the age of four on the school classroom threshold which muted him in voice and expression. DJ goes to a therapist who talks him through his experiences and feelings and helps him reconnect with himself. His wedding day arrives and DJ steps up to make his speech...
 Available now from Amazon

Selective Mutism

An assessment and intervention guide for therapists, educators and parents

Aimee Kotrba -  Thriving Minds Behavioral Health Center
PESI Publishing & Media; 1 edition (1 Nov. 2014)
“Selective Mutism: A Guide for Therapists, Educators, and Parents provides an effective, research-based behavioural intervention plan for the successful treatment of selective mutism. Based on years of clinical experience and expertise, author Dr. Aimee Kotrba provides not only assessment and treatment information, but also case examples, easy-to-implement workbook sheets, and informative handouts.
Dr. Kotrba is an advocate of team treatment – parents, schools, and mental health professionals working together to intervene with selective mutism – and this book provides intervention strategies for all team members, as well as a comprehensive treatment plan that can be individualised to any child. The techniques included emphasize a gradual, stepwise approach to increased speech, as well as fun and engaging activities that can be used at each step of treatment. Tips for engaging and motivating children and teens are included to improve treatment outcomes.”
 Available now from Amazon
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