Are you the parent or carer of a child or young person between the ages of 5 and 16?
SMIRA is running a new research study. This study aims to capture up-to-date information on speaking behaviours in ALL children and young people in the UK, not just those with SM. It is an online questionnaire and will take 10 minutes per child to complete.
Please click the link below to take part:
Selective Mutism Awareness Month
October is Selective Mutism Awareness Month! Not only that, it’s also SMiRA’s 30th Birthday!
This year we are asking our followers to do ’30 things for 30 years’ to raise awareness and – hopefully – a bit of money for SMiRA. This could be 30 anything – 30 skips with a rope, a 30 minute sponsored silence, bake and sell 30 cupcakes…etc. etc. I’m sure you get the idea!
We appreciate that times are hard for everyone this year and SMiRA is no exception. We were hit hard with a drop in donations last year and if this continues our very existence could come under threat. Every little bit helps……please..
SMiRA is organising a series of online presentations for Selective Mutism Awareness Month:
The use of Medication in Selective Mutism
Tuesday 1st November, 8.00pm GMT : from Elisa Shipon Blum
A live presentation by Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum, President and Director of the Selective Mutism Anxiety & Related Disorders Treatment Center (SMart Center); President: Selective Mutism Research Institute (SMRI); Founder & Director Emeritus Selective Mutism Association (SMA).
It is expected there will be a short Q & A session at the end of the presentation.
Please Note: There will be no recording available after this event.
Click here for more info and tickets
New – SMIRA Associate Members
SMiRA’s team is excited to announce our new Associate Members! All are experienced within their own field and add another level of expertise to our team. We look forward to working with them in the days ahead.
Libby Hill – Speech & Language Therapist
Gino Hipolito – Speech & Language Therapist
Angela May – Speech & Language Therapist
Anita McKiernan – Speech & Language Therapist
Lucy Nathanson – Child Therapist
Ruth Perednik – Psychologist
Andy Smith – Autism Advocate
Anna Biavati Smith – Speech & Language Therapist
Marcin Szczerbinski – Psychologist/Lecturer/Researcher
SMIRA statement regarding the use of the terms ‘reluctant speaker’ and ‘reluctant talker’
“SMIRA has noticed an increase in the terms ‘reluctant speaker’ and ‘reluctant talker’ being used as synonyms for Selective Mutism. We find the use of these terms is unhelpful, as they may be misleading, promoting the mistaken belief that people with SM may be refusing to speak, rather than being unable to do so.
Many of our families feel that ‘Selective Mutism’ as a name for the condition is not ideal, as there is still confusion over the word ‘Selective’. In SM, ‘Selective’ is being used as a medical term to mean affecting some things and not others. It does not refer to selecting, as in making a choice. This is an important distinction.
The name ‘Selective Mutism’ has international recognition and diagnostic criteria within the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM 5) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD 11).
SMIRA believes that until such time as the name is changed officially it should be the term used. There is increasing evidence from research to suggest that SM varies widely in complexity, in how it presents and in the factors that contribute to its occurrence. It has become clear that SM cannot be simply divided into types or described as a spectrum and therefore all cases that fit the diagnostic criteria should be entitled ‘Selective Mutism’ or ‘SM’. However, at present, we will continue to use the descriptors ‘Low Profile Selective Mutism’ and ‘High Profile Selective Mutism’ as defined in the Selective Mutism Resource Manual 2nd Ed., Handout 3, Johnson & Wintgens (2016). SM is currently still an often overlooked and misunderstood condition, so we feel that the use of these terms helps to ensure that it is clear that young people do not have to be completely silent in their challenging spaces to “qualify” as having SM.
Over the past thirty years SMIRA has striven to raise awareness of SM as an anxiety disorder in which the person is unable to speak (either at all or freely) rather than refusing to speak, and to dispel myths and challenge misinformation around the nature of SM whenever possible, and we will continue to do so vigorously into the future.”
To download a pdf copy of this statement, please click here
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