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Welcome to a Corner filled with Information related to the Speech and Language disorders seen in Children. Information on assessment, intervention strategies, and the latest updates in research. You will also be able to interact with other professionals and parents.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Selective Mutism

My experience with Selective Mutism is quite limited and having a patient now, I haven't seen much of a breakthrough yet. Searching through the internet, I stumbled upon this paper presented at the ASHA 2008 by Jan Middendorf and Jessica Burungrud. It truly gave me a new perspective to treat and an encouragement, when I was running out of ideas. There are other fabulous handouts from this years ASHA convention that you can access.

Click on the link : http://convention.asha.org/handouts.cfm

Selective Mutism: Strategies for Intervention
ASHA 2008
Jan Middendorf, M.A,CCC
Jessica Buringrud, M.A.,CCC
Shaping Nonverbal to Vocal to Verbal Skills
Warm up activity
  • Non vocal act, such as stick out tongue, close teeth and smile, place upper teeth on lower lip. These acts were repeated with air flow, creating an approximation of the speech sounds /th, s, f/ respectively.
  • Non vocal blowing act and then stopping of the air stream at the level of the lips, then tongue tip at teeth, then at soft plate, creating an approximation of the speech sounds /p, t, k/ respectively.
  • Repeat above task with voicing (cue, make it noisy) to produce speech sounds /th, z, v, b, d, g/.
  • Introduce vowels by opening mouth after production of consonant. Shape vowel by describing mouth positions (fish mouth - /u/, cave mouth - /ah,/ smile mouth - /e/).
  • Slowly introduce true words with in content of consonant vowel repetitions (say, see, so, Sue, day, do, may, my bye, boo, key, etc.
  • Transfer repeated words to functional words. For example, say word “go” in order to get picture to appear on screen.
  • Continued to generalize us of true words, for example, name word in order to “win” it in card game.


  1. Manju!

    Your blog is wonderful already! I am so pleased the rest of the world can have access to your wealth of knowledge and heart. Thanks for the info on selective mutism - very valuable. Marnee


  2. I also just began working with a student identified with selective mutism. However, he can speak ocassionally at very random moments. Large classes obviously cause great stress, as does his inability to respond verbally when needed. It is apparent he wants to speak at times and simply cannot. Are the exercies you listed appropriate for someone who can speak on ocassion? I am at a loss for ideas.

  3. Yes, they are great with occasional speaking kids too. I had a similar child too! But it requires alot of patience and help from all members of the team(SPL, teachers, parents etc...)