Filmmaker's personal interest in Selective Mutism.
A few years ago, a friend of mine approached me and asked if I had ever heard of Selective Mutism (SM). Her daughter had just recently been given the diagnosis and she knew very little about this anxiety disorder. I had never heard of it before and coming from a psychology background (certified rehabilitation counselor, CRC) I was intrigued to learn more. Together we attended a conference on SM and while listening to the speaker, I realized that there was a dire need for widespread education and for this disorder to be clearly understood and acknowledged by the community at large, especially within the health, educational and childcare fields. It was so disconcerting to me that Selective Mutism was virtually unknown about, not only to the majority of lay-people but also to those professionals such as teachers, social workers, school counselors, pediatricians, who in their best interests, should probably know more about the disorder.
I went on to immerse myself in the world of Selective Mutism, meeting lots of parents and children and listening to their personal stories, while attending support groups and conducting my own extensive research on the subject. Unfortunately, there are so many struggles that are encountered by these families and the journey is often long and tiresome. Thankfully, in my friend’s case, despite the pain, frustration and uncertainty that overwhelmed her, she went on to advocate for her child and persuaded others to get actively involved. It was this collaborative effort that ultimately led to her child’s recovery. Her perseverance and determination is truly an inspiration; and her little girl who once couldn’t utter a word to me is now the life and soul of the party. There is no reason why a childhood should be lost forever!
My dream is to see others succeed in this same way, and to pave the path for these children to receive the right help, the right resources and the right treatment needed for recovery. Children CAN overcome Selective Mutism. My mission in producing this documentary is to inspire hope and to initiate positive change, so that children and families living and struggling with SM will feel empowered and supported. I trust there is light at the end of the tunnel!