Taking the lead:
Selective Mutism Parent Training

At home your child may be a real chatterbox, but in other situations your child remains quiet. It seems impossible for them to even say hello or goodbye when you tell them to. If this is familiar to you, your child may be struggling with an anxiety disorder called selective mutism.

Sometimes it is as if your child is doing this on purpose, deliberately controlling the situation and refusing to speak. Other times, you can see anxiety blocking the words on your child’s lips. Your child’s teachers call on you to help them, but you just don’t know what to do anymore to help them to talk to other people. Being patient has not helped, and neither has being strict. Learn what to do during our Selective Mutism Parent Training.

“Thank you so much for all your help and support. It made all the difference in my child’s life”

When you go online you may find a few things that you worry about:

  • While you find suggestions that selective mutism is treatable, you will also find many stories where children struggled to speak throughout their childhood and sometimes into adulthood
  • You may read that relapse is common, and worry that you might accidentally do something that sparks a relapse
  • You may read that every day your child spends in silence, it becomes slightly harder to help your child move on from their silence
  • You may find it is hard to find the right people to support you, as many educational and healthcare professionals have only a limited understanding of and experience with this disorder

What if you could take matters into your own hands? If you could help your child open up?
What if you would know the next step for your child and how to move towards it with confidence?

During this Selective Mutism Parent training, we will explore how you as a parent can support your child.

By the end of the training you will:

  • have a better understanding of selective mutism and how it affects your child
  • bring home an individual support plan for your child
  • have learned a combination of techniques and skills that will help you support your child
  • practiced these techniques within a safe environment, before trying them with your child
  • learn what to do if a relapse occurs
  • Have taken the first steps in supporting your child to speak up and overcome their silence

Frequently Asked Questions:

What will I learn?

During the three workshops, you will learn to create a talking map for your child, how to approach choosing your child’s next target for talking, and how to encourage your child to reach this target using specific techniques of behavior modification. You will also learn how to monitor your own expectations and what you can do in case a relapse occurs.

What more is included?

Before the start of the workshops, we will invite you for an intake to ensure enrolling in the training is the best step for your child and family at this time. After the last of the three workshops, we offer four weekly follow up calls to guide you in the process of supporting your child and to answer any specific questions that may come up after the workshops. At the end of these four weeks, we can make further recommendations and decide on a follow up support plan, if needed.

How many families are allowed to attend a group?

Each group consists of a maximum six families. The small scale will allow for a helpful exchange between families while each family has a chance to ask their individual questions too. A group will start when two or more families have registered.

Our nanny/babysitter/family member/friend/etc. is doing most of the school runs, are they allowed to join the group course on our behalf?

To ensure a safe space for all the families involved, we only allow parents (and guardians) to join the group programme. However, we agree that it is important for your nanny/babysitter/family member/friend/etc. to be aware of the techniques and treatment plans too. We can discuss options for supporting them on an individual basis.

What will be our investment?

The fee for the full package is €475,- which includes the intake, three workshops of 1,5 hours, and four weekly follow up phone calls.

Before you can enrol in the training, we would like to invite you for an intake to ensure this is the right step for your family. The intake is included in the programme fee and can be paid upon the start of the training. If a different approach is chosen after the intake we will charge €165,- for the intake.

Will attending this course be enough to treat my child?

This training is the basis of your child’s treatment for Selective Mutism at Embracing Horizons. Unfortunately, there is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution; each child and each family is different. For some children and families, this training may be enough to reach their desired end-goal of speaking to all people and in all situations. For other children and families, progress may be slower and the therapist may eventually recommend a more intensive approach.

How often will this training be offered?

We aim to offer this training in a group setting twice a year; around Januasy and September. If there is enough demand, we may also start courses at other times. If the next training is more than two months away, contact us to be added to our waitinglist so we can inform you when additional trainings are scheduled. 

Are both parents allowed to attend?

Yes! All parents or guardians of your child are welcome and encouraged to attend. Your child is most likely to benefit from your attendance of this course if both (all) parents/guardians understand their struggles and the process towards change. Even if one of you may be less involved in the school runs your child still needs your support.

Will the training be covered by my insurance?

Services offered by Embracing Horizons are invoiced to our clients directly. If desired, you are encouraged to find out whether you are eligible for funding for this training and/or other services offered by our practice.

Embracing Horizons holds no contracts with Dutch insurance companies or municipalities and are therefore not covered within the regular streams of funding in The Netherlands. Some of our clients have been successful in obtaining funding through international insurance companies, relocation packages or by acquiring a personal budget (PGB) from their municipality.

Can my child receive support when we have not attended this training?

For children with selective mutism, their best chances of success in finding their voice occur if parents, teachers and other supporters (including therapists) work together. This is why we strongly encourage all parents to follow this training if they seek support or treatment for their child with selective mutism at Embracing Horizons.

If you are unsure whether this training is the best fit for your child and family, you can schedule an intake first (€165,-).

September 2022: Mondays at 19:30
September 12 and 26, October 10

If at least two families are interested to take the training before summer (May or June) we can start an additional training.

Yes, schedule my intake!

Still got questions?

Send an email to Jet Sichterman who will be able to help you decide whether the Selective Mutism Parent Training is right for you.