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Dear Parents who attended the Meeting for Parents with Children with Selective Mutism: 

It was a pleasure meeting all of you. I listened to your concerns about your children’s symptoms of S.M. and how such symptoms have been affecting their and your lives for years. You reported how many years your child has been suffering from this anxiety condition, but how you were not able to receive any help in the diagnosis and treatment of S.M. This means that we need to get more information out there to schools and to the medical community.

You learned about S.M., how to diagnose, and also about what is shown with research that works best for the treatment of S.M.

Finally, I hope that you took some tools home with how to make a plan for your child to start feeling more comfortable with talking with some people and in some places. You also learned that parents usually “accommodate” their children’s anxiety with fear that they will suffer more if they have to “talk” in certain places. So, your role in helping your child is in the center of any treatment that you decide to provide to your family. In the end, we spoke about communicating with your doctor and with your child’s school guidance counselor as well as the ESE Specialist to review (or to establish) any accommodations that your child may need given that Selective Mutism is an anxiety condition and it affects the child’s functioning at school in many levels, such as emotional, social, and also academic areas of the child’s life at school. Sincerely, and looking forward to working with you soon, Vera Joffe, Ph.D. ABPP

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