Selective Mutism Core Training for Schools
Welcome to the selective mutism core training for schools.
The aim of this core training is to create a supportive school environment where all staff have an understanding of selective mutism.
The intention is that schools gather all staff for training on selective mutism and play the course. School staff will leave this training with increased knowledge of selective mutism, and tangible strategies in supporting a child.
It is recommended that the videos are shown consecutively as a one off 'school training'. An individual staff member can also complete the training as an online course at their own pace.
Approximately 1 hour 30 minutes should be allocated; this includes approximately 1 hour of video content, plus time for discussion.
The course is practical and interactive; there are several moments throughout the course whereby the video is paused so that school staff can discuss and apply the information to the child that they know.
The course also includes handouts which should be distributed amongst staff so that notes can be taken throughout the training. There is also a parent questionnaire; it is recommended that parents complete this prior to the training so that school staff can gain an understanding of the child's talking behaviour outside of school.
This online core training consists of three sections:
Section 1: Understanding selective mutism (13 videos)
Section 2: Reducing anxiety and helping the child (8 videos)
Section 3: Test your knowledge (4 videos)
Handout: Section 1
Handout: Section 2
The do's and don'ts when interacting with a child with SM summary sheet
Who is this training suitable for?
This training can be taken by all school staff as part of a training session, or by select few staff members that work with a child with selective mutism. Alternatively, an individual staff member can watch the videos at their own pace, and parents may also benefit from this course.
It is recommended that schools, that have a child with selective mutism, receive training on this condition. It is important that school staff are trained in reducing the child's anxiety, knowledgeable about selective mutism and equipped in interacting with the child. From Lucy's experience, school staff often want to help but are unsure how to. This course will provide tangible strategies, and attendees will leave this training more confident in their understanding of selective mutism and supporting the child.
This training is not a substitute for an individualised intervention plan that should be prepared by a professional trained and experienced in selective mutism.
"I really enjoyed this course - with the different segments, time passed very quickly indeed. I felt like all the information was presented clearly and concisely, yet was comprehensive and answered any questions that popped into my head as I watched it. The true or false quiz and scenario quiz were cleverly done, and enough information was given alongside the answers without it being repetitive. The use of images throughout were great for keeping my attention and illustrating key points. Having the summaries and written text on the screen alongside was also really helpful. Lucy has a lovely and engaging tone of voice, it's very easy to listen and pay attention to what she is saying. Lucy has clearly put a lot of thought and energy into this, and has thought about it from the learners perspective. I would definitely recommend it to the schools I work with".
- CAMHS nurse
"This course is so interesting and well made. I like how Lucy speaks in a clear and open way with pictures and extra balloons with information on the sides. The content of the videos is superb. There is nothing I would like to know more of; all the questions I had were answered".
- Keyworker of a child with selective mutism
"I have just finished the course and this is what people are crying out for; it is such a genius idea! It covered everything that I had to relay to each and every person working with my daughter. Lucy hit every point that I as a parent would want highlighted. The course is constructed very well; the handouts were brilliant and helped to consolidate all the key information. This course is going to change so many peoples lives! I wish it were available years back when I was on my own. This course is a game changer!"
- Gillian Elliott, parent of a child with selective mutism and admin of Selective Mutism Ireland Facebook group
"30 of my staff completed the core training last night and found it extremely useful and informative. I have taken feedback from staff and they really enjoyed how the training was split into short videos that were easy to digest. They also liked how Lucy explained difficult concepts of anxiety in easy to understand ways with real life examples. It was also great that there were reflection times for us to discuss the child in our setting, and more detailed information about them, as some of our staff didn’t know her presentation in detail. Staff expressed that it was great how Lucy recapped the main points of each video and also each section as if they had missed writing something in their notes, this gave them a reminder. We had a range of staff attending from the head teacher and senior leaders to the kitchen staff and all were able to understand the main points and feel they have strategies to adopt when interacting with the child".
- School Senior Leader and SENDCo
"This school training is excellent; it is highly informative and very easy to follow. I highly recommend it!"
- Ceri Dermody, therapist at Selective Mutism Support Adelaide
“The course kept my attention with its short, snappy video presentations which were full of thought provoking and essential information. I would definitely recommend it to any school who seek to successfully help a child with selective mutism.”
- Parent of 7 year old child with selective mutism
"I loved the course and I learnt so much. It was really informative and engaging"
- Year 2 Teaching Assistant
StartAn introduction to the course (2:51)
StartUnderstanding anxiety and avoidance (3:08)
StartAn overview of selective mutism: definition and diagnostic criteria (3:16)
StartThinking about the child's talking behaviour (1:14)
StartSelective mutism being more than speech (1:12)
StartHow selective mutism affects a child in everyday life (2:39)
StartWhat selective mutism is not (2:59)
StartComorbid diagnoses (0:45)
StartWhat causes selective mutism? (3:32)
StartIs selective mutism caused by a traumatic event? (0:34)
StartEliminating maintaining factors (4:33)
StartVideo for younger children (3:32)
StartKey messages: understanding selective mutism (1:43)
StartThings not to do (3:29)
StartInteracting with a child with selective mutism (2:08)
StartAn overview of the therapy (1:57)
StartThe treatment triangle (1:24)
StartThe importance of early intervention (1:04)
StartThe three essential ingredients for a successful intervention (2:56)
StartHow Covid may impact how we work with children with SM (6:22)
StartRemaining calm and patient (0:59)
StartKey messages: reducing anxiety and helping the child (1:52)
Lucy Nathanson is a child therapist and founder of confidentchildren.co.uk based in London, UK who specialises in working with children with selective mutism.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Confident-Children-Select...
Lucy works in schools implementing interventions gradually exposing children with selective mutism to their fear of talking in small steps; she also guides school led interventions and delivers staff training on selective mutism in schools.
Her YouTube videos on selective mutism have had over 150,000 views.
On an international level, Lucy offers Online Sessions, having supported parents of children with selective mutism from the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and more.
Lucy’s articles on selective mutism have been published in The Primary Times, both online and in the magazine and she is the author of ‘Understanding Selective Mutism: A Beginner’s Guide’, 'My name is Eliza and I don't talk at school', and 'Why doesn't Alice talk at school?' all available on Amazon.
Lucy has a BSc degree in Applied Psychology and Sociology from the University of Surrey.
She has also completed the following courses delivered by Maggie Johnson and Alison Wintgens (authors of The Selective Mutism Resource Manual):
·Working with Selective Mutism: effective approaches to assessment and management of children and adolescents
·Working with Selective Mutism: extension level – supplementary approaches to assessment and management.
The extension level covered complex cases, including working with children with ASD and Selective Mutism.
Lucy was a speaker at the SMIRA (Selective Mutism Information and Research Association) conference twice, and a speaker at the Languages and Emotions conference (organised by the University of Silesia) held in Katowice, Poland on three occasions. Her presentations were entitled 'Implementing a small steps programme for working with children with selective mutism', 'An overview of interventions for children with selective mutism' and 'Selective mutism therapy: challenges and frequently asked questions'.
In July 2016, she completed training in treatment for children with selective mutism at the Child Mind Institute in New York City, USA. She then took part in the ‘Brave Buddies’ programme (an intensive therapeutic programme for children with selective mutism).
In 2017, she took part in the WeSpeak programme at Kurtz Consulting LTD in New York, which is a therapeutic programme for children with selective mutism aged 10-14 years.
In 2018, she co-delivered a workshop in Melbourne, Australia on selective mutism for parents and professionals.
She co-founded the Selective Mutism Group Programme (SMGP) and co-delivered it in the UK in 2019 and in Australia in 2020.
Lucy's passion is to help as many children with selective mutism as possible in finding their voice.