Welcome to Selective Mutism Foundation, Inc.

“Sue Newman, Co-Founder/Director of the Selective Mutism Foundation, Inc., was a major resource in the work of the renaming of the disorder, Elective Mutism, for the DSM-IV. We held meetings to discuss the views of parents with a child suffering from the disorder. She provided meaningful arguments for the deleterious effects of considering the disorder’s symptoms a choice, or elective behavior, on the part of the children. The arguments she presented were cogent, and clinically sensible. It was immensely helpful to have the input of a concerned citizen who had knowledge of other parent’s experiences. As a result of our discussions, Elective Mutism was renamed Selective Mutism, and diagnostic criteria was revised to reflect failure to speak in specific social situations, rather than ‘refusal’ to speak.”

Rachel G. Klein, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychiatry
New York University School of Medicine
Advisory Board Member to the
Selective Mutism Foundation, Inc.
DSM-IV 1994 Workgroup-Disorders usually first diagnosed during infancy, childhood, or adolescence.

Selective Mutism Foundation, Inc. is the voice of Trust and Experience.

An ethical, non-profit, public service organization since 1991.
This website is presented to broaden public awareness and understanding of Selective Mutism. Selective Mutism is an anxiety disorder with a persistent FAILURE (not refusal) TO SPEAK in select social settings.

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What is Selective Mutism?

Selective Mutism is an anxiety disorder characterized by not speaking outside the home to select individuals or in select settings, which continues for more than 1 month.

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504 Plan

For SM School accommodations and Interventions “A Must Have” (Emailed)

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A Rare Disorder Brought to Light

The Selective Mutism Foundation (1991) was the major source in bringing this disorder to the forefront, as most healthcare professionals had never heard of SM.

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Our Commitment Mission Statement

Our mission is to promote further research, advocacy, social acceptance, and the understanding of Selective Mutism as a debilitating disorder. Through networking and educating the public, we have contributed immensely to society, including…

About Us

Our goals are to equip families and professionals with the right information, quality tools, products, and meaningful resources. We encourage you to continue browsing our website to learn more.

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Is Selective Mutism a Speech Disorder?

Learn more about Selective Mutism Diagnostic Features and Differential Diagnosis.

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Autism Wrong Diagnosis??

Learn more about the difference between Autism and Selective Mutism.

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What is the DSM? Why Is It Important?

The Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) was first established in 1952 as an effort to provide descriptive diagnostic categories to serve as a useful guide for clinicians in diagnosing mental disorders.

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Life after SM – Recovered Adults

“I suffered from Selective Mutism all my life. Now, I finally got out of my shell and I am speaking to people. I had a few jobs in the past that I never had before when I was in high school. It was hard to get a job but I did it…”

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Does your Child have SM? Take The Self-Test

Do you have symptoms of Selective Mutism? The following questions can be used to help you recognize the symptoms of Selective Mutism. This form is not meant to replace consultation with a trained mental health professional.

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Classmate & School Staff Sensitivity Training/Inservice Guide – A Must Have (Emailed)


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