Selectively Silent Child BOOK!

Selectively Silent Child BOOK!

Posted on 11 March, 2012

A lot of you have been asking us for a Selectively Silent Child book, and the time has come to start working on it! As a non-profit group, The Selectively Silent Child doesn’t have funding for this project, BUT if you want to help us make it possible, read on.

The book will be packed with:

Authentic personal accounts from people who have battled Selective Mutism and won, with
Words and pictures by Selectively Silent Children
PLUS resource lists for parents, teachers & friends

Lovingly put together by journalist Rebecca Esther (who moonlights as The Selectively Silent Child’s media coordinator) and Lin Gorenkoff, founder of The Selectively Silent Child.

“I know what it’s like to be so anxious you can’t speak,” says Rebecca, once a Selectively Silent Child. “I want to help people who have been (or are) affected by SM. By publishing their stories, I want to give them a voice, thereby helping other anxious children around the globe.

Read on for the proposal, PLUS a list of the gifts you’ll receive as a thank you for your generous donation.

The proposal, in Rebecca’s words:

I want to travel across Canada and the United States, collecting the stories of people personally impacted by Selective Mutism, then publish them, along with artwork by anxious children and resources for their loved ones in ebook and book form. No one has ever done that before, especially on such a large scale.

Lin Says:

Instead of a manual in “doctor-speak”, we want to write a book by and for “regular people” who know what it’s like to be affected by anxiety. This book will offer support and encouragement for those closest to the SM child and insight that shows they are not alone.

Gifts to thank you for your generosity:

1 For a donation of $2 or more, your name will be included in a “thank you” blog post at The Selectively Silent Child’s website.

2 For a donation of $15 or more, you’ll receive a copy of the ebook the day it is released, and your name will be included in a “thank you” blog post at The Selectively Silent Child’s website.

3 For a donation of $35 or more, you’ll receive a copy of the book the day it is released, and your name will be included in a “thank you” blog post at The Selectively Silent Child’s website. [Shipping included if you are in North America. Otherwise, add $5].

4 For a donation of $45 or more, you’ll receive a copy of the book and the ebook the day they are released, and your name will be included in a “thank you” blog post at The Selectively Silent Child’s website. [Shipping included if you are in North America. Otherwise, add $5].

5 For a donation of $75 or more, you’ll receive 3 copies of the book (1 for you and 2 to share!) and 1 copy of the ebook the day they are released, and your name will be included in a “thank you” blog post at The Selectively Silent Child’s website. [Shipping included if you are in North America. Otherwise, add $5].

6 For a donation of $150 dollars or more, you’ll receive a special surprise, plus 3 copies of the book (1 for you and 2 to share!) and 1 copy of the ebook the day they are released, and your name will be included in a “thank you” blog post at The Selectively Silent Child’s website. [Shipping included if you are in North America. Otherwise, add $5].

7 For a donation over $250, we’ll work out a special reward just for you.

Here’s how to donate:

Visit The Selectively Silent Child at ChipIn.
On the right-hand side of the page, click the orange button that says “ChipIn!”
You’ll be directed to a PayPal page. Log in and enter the amount you want to donate.
That’s it! Be proud you supported the Selectively Silent Child and get excited about the book!

Thank you for your support.

Donate to The Selectively Silent Child’s ChipIn Page now!

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Amanda Seyfried Underwent Therapy For Anxiety


It’s incredibly difficult to ask for help (for yourself or your child), especially because of the stigma attached to therapy.

The more openly we talk about our experiences with therapy, the less power the stigma has over us.

Amanda Seyfried (of Mean Girls and Mamma Mia! fame) has undergone Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for her anxiety disorder. Of CBT, she says, “that’s been such a great tool, and my therapist told me that I passed with flying colors, but we’ll see how things go”.

It’s great when celebrities’ mental health is in the spotlight, because talking about mental illness is the only way to squash the stigma.

Photo Source

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How To: Cope With Moments of Panic

Note: This post was written while I was on the bus to NYC and posted from my hotel.

Hi, friends!

I’m writing this on the bus. I’m on my way to New York City for a couple of press gigs, and I must admit… I’m feeling a little anxious. Whenever I travel, this happens: from about an hour before I leave until the bus or car hits the road, I start to feel hot, my hands shake, my stomach hurts…. You know all the symptoms.

I’ve become a pro at talking myself down. As I write this, I’m easing into my trip and using my healthy coping skills to calm myself.

Here are some tried and true skills you can use next time you start to feel anxious:

* Remember to breathe! For something that’s supposed to be second nature, when we’re nervous, breathing takes so much effort that we sometimes forget to do it. In your head, repeat, “Breathe. Breathe. You can do it. Breathe”. Slowly. Place a hand on your tummy and feel the air come in and out of your body. It helps a lot!

* Mantras. Repeating something positive in your head is essential, especially if you have OCD symptoms that involve repeating (often negative) words in your head. When I panic, I have to tell myself “please don’t be sick, don’t be anxious…”. If I don’t, I feel like the world is going to end or I’m going to explode or… I don’t know. It’s terrifying. And it’s ridiculous, repeating words like that. But I panic if I don’t… UNLESS I use mantras. Sometimes “breathe” works. Other situations call for something more complex, like “I can and I should and I will do this” or “everything will be okay because everything has to be okay”. Harness the power of meaningful words plus repetition.

* Fidget toys. Play with a rubber band ball, wear a chunky beaded bracelet, hold a stuffed animal, take up cross-stitch or knitting… Anything to keep your hands busy and mind occupied. Focus on your toy’s texture. Squeeze it.  Channel all your emotion into the inanimate object.

And having written this, I already feel so much better! I hope these tips help you too.

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Will Homeschooling Help the SM Child?

As many of you know, The Selectively Silent Child website has a message board where you can post and answer each other’s questions, meet parents and educators in similar situations and learn more about SM. Anita recently posted a question on the board. Homeschooling seems like a hot topic lately, so it’s definitely worth discussing. Below, you’ll find Anita’s question and my answer.

Subject: Homeschooling

Is homeschooling a good option if the child is mute and extremely nervous at school? Anyone homeschools [sic] his/her SM child here?

 -Anita

Hi Anita,

Is your child’s academic performance suffering? If so, homeschool may be a good idea, because less anxiety would mean more opportunity for him to focus on school rather than his fears. If his marks are fine, though, his Mutism should be your main worry.

It’s tempting to homeschool because you, as a parent want to take your child’s pain away. But extracting from his life whatever triggers his anxiety is only a short-term cure.

While homeschooling would ease your child’s anxiety because he would be removed from the setting that makes him anxious, the problem itself (social anxiety) would not be solved.

Watching your child suffer in silence is more painful than anything you’ve ever experienced. As frustrating as it is to hear, you have to stick it out. Learn coping strategies together. Try to get into therapy. Read as much about Selective Mutism as you possibly can.

As terrified as you and your child are now, things will get better. As a former sufferer of Selective Mutism, I promise it is possible to get through it.

So, readers, Anita and I turn to you:
Have you homeschooled your children? Were you ever homeschooled?

The Selectively Silent Child would love to hear from you!

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How To: Help a Loved One Cope With Her Mental Illness

Hello, friends!

As you know, I run both The Selectively Silent Child and my own website, Etched In Tin. Mental health is a cause very close to my heart. Today I posted an article offering tips for helping a loved one cope with her mental illness. You’ll find an excerpt here. Follow the link below to read the article in its entirety.

Your loved one is so lucky to have someone who cares enough to stand by her. Sometimes it can be difficult to know how to be there for her, especially if you have never experienced what she is going through. As someone who has a mental illness and helps others cope with their own, I’ve compiled a list to help you out…

Read this article at Etched In Tin!

Which tip did you find most helpful?

Posted in Coping Strategies, Explaining to people who don't get it, Knowledge is Power, Post-SM Mental Health, Rebecca | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

“Go the F–k To Sleep!”

Becca poses with a copy of Go The Fuck To Sleep.

One of the best ways to cope with stress is humour.

Go The Fuck To Sleep by Adam Mansbach is written in the style of a children’s storybook, but it’s geared toward tired parents with a sense of humour. Hopefully this hilarious book will take the edge off, next time you’re exhausted but your child can’t or won’t go to bed. Just be sure to read it to yourself, not to her!

Read the book in its entirety (!!!) here. If you love it, be sure to purchase a copy at Chapters/Indigo or an independent bookstore near you.

While we’re on the topic of sleep, what strategies do you use to help yourself and your anxious child sleep? What do you need help with?

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Sorry it’s been so quiet…

I apologize for how quiet it’s been, lately. Between working on my other blog (not child-friendly!), finishing school and continuing therapy, I’ve been incredibly busy.

I’m posting because I want to let you all know this:

One: Lots of new content is in the works for The Selectively Silent Child. Yes, get excited! (:

Two: Wherever you are in your journey, you are doing wonderfully so far! Keep at it.

As always, you can get in touch with me by commenting on the blog, emailing me at etchedintin@gmail.com or via the facebook page. I would love to hear from you.

Rebecca

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