To witness him first hand, participate in class to answer questions (in a loud whisper) is a blessing and makes me want to cry happy tears! What is the secret to his progress? I'm not really sure... My family and his teachers have prayed for him, we have trusted that God would equip me, my husband, and his teachers to best know how to work with him, and the faculty at his school (where I also teach) has embraced him, loved on him, and has been so patient with him. Removing the pressure to speak aloud is critical to S.M. children. So is treating them like any other student and making sure that they are included in all activities, even if the teachers knows they may not participate.
My son loves to read, and I found a few picture books that deal with quiet, shy characters. These books can help the S.M. child realize that they are not alone with their silence (my child verbalized last year that he thought he was the only one in the world that didn't talk at school...awww!). Additionally, they can help other children understand that shy, mute children are different, but are more like them than they might think!
- Danny, the Duck With No Quack by Malachy Doyle - This sweet picture book was a gift to my son from my teacher-friend who read the book and thought of him. Danny never has a word to say, and the other barn yard animals do not understand why he is so scared to talk. One day he leaves to find a story to tell and has a big adventure and quacks about it! My son enjoyed the gorgeous illustrations and the lesson that he will be able to talk to his friends in his own time.
- A Home For Bird by Philip C. Stead- I stumbled upon this beautiful picture book a few weeks ago at the library. Vernon, the toad, finds a new friend, a small bird, who is silent. Vernon does not understand why his new friend is so shy and quiet. Vernon says, "Bird is shy, but is also a good listener." The book's message reinforces the message that we can be thoughtful friends to our quiet, shy friends!
Below are picture books written specifically for children with Selective Mutism. I have not read them, but will be purchasing them for my son. Click the pictures to read the product descriptions on Amazon.
If you are a parent or teacher of a child with Selective Mutism, I hope that these book recommendations will be helpful to you! If you have other books you would recommend, please leave a comment!