What About You?
Introducing a new, fully customized digital book for children with Selective Mutism*
My family entered into the world of Selective Mutism when my now 14 year old daughter was turning 3. The precocious, independent and fully verbal child I experienced at home "disappeared" upon entering school for the first time. She existed in seemingly two completely different worlds, and brought us on a journey that we never could have imagined.
Despite my own training as a clinical social worker and special educator, Selective Mutism was new to me and presented its own learning curve complete with missteps and self-doubt. But it also introduced me to a community of parents and skilled professionals who were at the ready when my second daughter, now 12, was also diagnosed with SM.
Nine years ago, I traveled with my 2 young daughters to the Child Mind Institute in New York City, and began a life-changing therapeutic process with world-renowned SM specialist Dr. Steven Kurtz and his team of highly skilled therapists (shout out to Melissa Ortega and Laura Kirmayer!). In the years that followed, I studied and honed my own SM skills so that I could provide much-needed local support to other children and their families. I am proud to be the Selective Mutism specialist at Growing Minds: Center for Child and Family Therapy.
I wrote the story "What About You?" to help my daughters, their friends and their teachers understand and talk about Selective Mutism in a developmentally appropriate way that was strengths-based and recognized that everyone had things that they were working on. While I was impressed with the few existing SM books for children, I found that they focused on the child and his/her inability to speak. I wanted a book that would acknowledge that SM is just one part of who they are, and I especially wanted a story to be success-oriented, focusing on how hard they were working so that they would be able to talk to their friends. I also knew my children would love to see themselves and their own family represented in the story!
Over the past 7 years, I have created personalized versions of "What About You?" for many of the young clients with whom I have had the honor to work. I have finally figured out a way to share this customized book with the broader community of SM families and am now accepting pre-orders!
For children ages 3-7. Personalized for your child. Beautiful, hand-painted watercolor illustrations.
Click here to get started and to place your order.
*Selective Mutism (SM) is an anxiety disorder characterized by an individual's inability to speak in one or more social settings (i.e. school, public places, with adults) despite being able to speak comfortably in other settings (i.e. at home with family).