Selective Mutism Support

When you talk to your child, you see a clever, curious, capable child. But at school the teachers do not see this – your child is not speaking to their teachers or their peers. Not even saying hello or goodbye when told to. Sometimes it is as if your child is doing it 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. Being patient has not helped, and neither has being strict.

If you recognize your child in this description, it might be that your child is suffering an anxiety disorder called Selective Mutism. Children with this disorder are able to speak, but not in all situations or to all people. For example, they might not speak at school or they may only speak with peers but not with adults.

Selective Mutism is a rare disorder that is not very familiar to most healthcare professionals. Because of this, selective mutism support is hard to find. You may have never heard of this disorder or you may not have found therapists and doctors who are aware of what it is and how it should be treated. Teachers may not know how to assess your child in school to understand if their teaching is effective and your child may not be able to make and maintain friendships without the power of their language. If you are like most parents with a child who suffers from selective mutism, you worry about them regularly and worry what their lives will lead to if they remain silent. You may feel frustration and impatience with your child for not speaking when you know fully well they can. You may also feel shame that your child does not show the courtesies to say please and thank you.

Living in a foreign country – the Netherlands of all places! – you might also feel lonely and frustrated with the way the healthcare system is organized. And then there is that tiny voice in your head that worries whether your child’s multilingual upbringing might have anything to do with it…

Teacher:
“Thank you so much for all of your help and expertise! I have felt very inspired by the work that you do with my student and it has helped me to find strategies to use in the classroom”

Father:
“Thanks very much for all the effort for both of you, we are very exited to see our son overcoming this big challenge”

Jet Sichterman
Working with children with a variety of communication challenges taught me to use different modes of communication. This comes in handy when encouraging children to overcome their silence and find their voice again!

Under the right conditions, selective mutism is treatable!

Embracing Horizons offers selective mutism support to children, their parents and teachers. In The Hague and surrounding areas in The Netherlands (Wassenaar, Rijswijk, Delft, Leiden) we can collaborate with your child’s Dutch or International school. We will not only be your child’s therapists, but also a trainer, supporter, coordinator and connector of the whole team of ‘co-therapists’ around your child, including your child’s teachers and yourself. In other locations in The Netherlands we can train and supervise parents and teachers supporting a child who seems capable, but unable, to speak.

While many mental health professionals have only heard of selective mutism once or twice during their studies, our Selective Mutism specialist Jet Sichterman has had an interest in the topic from the onset of her studies helping her form a solid understanding of the disorder. In addition, she has learned effective treatment principles through her experience working with clients who were unable to speak in school, and collaborated with selective mutism specialists from the Child Mind Institute in New York (one of the leading centers regarding Selective Mutism therapy in the world).

Every day, week, month and year your child is not speaking reinforces their silence more, so don’t wait any longer and get in touch with us today to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation and find out how we can support your child!

Contact Us

Ask a question or book an appointment below.

+31 (0)6 44 35 81 81

Koninginnegracht 101, 2514 AL, Den Haag

connect@embracinghorizons.com