In selective mutism (SM) awareness month… What about SMers?


This was written for iSpeak’s Facebook site in July this year — it’s now October — SM Awareness Month and thought it might be a good idea to publish a short version here too.

“I would love for SM events (or any event) to be more inclusive of those who might find it difficult to give a speech or even ask a question, but who would like to contribute — there are other ways to speak —  #morethan1way2speak

It seems it has not dawned on SM organisations and professionals to consider access for SMers to enable us to contribute meaningfully to their events.

It is 2018 and there are many ways to communicate and contribute. Or perhaps they default into thinking in the way that those of us with lived experience of SM know only too well — if you are silent you have nothing to say?

I’m sorry if this comes across as frustrated and angry, but again, as those of you with lived experience of SM know — this is how not having a voice makes you feel.

SM professionals might reply — that they often include people with SM in their events — however this is wholly on their terms, and it is often about inviting us to ‘tell our story’. This link explains why this can be problematic and actually does not help those it purports to help.”…/what-disability-professi…

October update:

Some of us are tired of not having a voice so we are doing it for ourselves with a campaign — ‘Raising OUR Voices‘ launched during SM awareness month.

More to come…



3 thoughts on “In selective mutism (SM) awareness month… What about SMers?

  1. Love this, and it is exactly the same in the autism world!

    I am dedicating October this year to sharing blogs, videos and other resources (like your fantastic posters) from people with lived experience of selective mutism on my page A Spectrum of Possibilities.

    I have a few great things lined up already but please let me know if there are any particularly great resources I should share or which I may have missed so far!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks so much, that’s absolutely brilliant!

    I have spent a lifetime trying to understand my SM, what helped was being in contact with iSpeak (set up by Carl Sutton), and then helping other SMers and and parents via iSpeak, initially with support from Carl, and listening and learning from them. Also, being DX autistic meant I had some perspective on my SM and could also learn from the amazing autistic community online — I would not be here now without that support.

    Carl’s book – there are more resources on the iSpeak web site, may need updating, recommend anything by Carl and other SMers

    Accoms for an employee with SM – this is far too long and needs editing (sorry, not had time!) but some important info

    The Social Model of Disability is key, and is empowering – this is the best description I’ve found

    Posts on iSpeak’s FB page

    Natasha’s blog

    Much advice from the experts and professionals can put even more pressure on the young person to change, basically — ‘become more confident via these techniques…’ and may not work – this can be detrimental and lead to self blame, further isolation, and worse.

    Will be in touch with more soon… there are some online forums, in particular a new one on reddit, but have not had the time to investigate…

    Liked by 1 person

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