The objects of SMiRA are to relieve sickness by provision of information and support to children and young people affected by Selective Mutism, to their parents and carers, to adults affected by Selective Mutism and professional workers involved in the care of all those affected by Selective Mutism; to advance education of the public by conducting research into the condition and publishing the useful results of such research.
Selective Mutism (SM), sometimes called Situational Mutism, is an anxiety-based mental health disorder which usually commences in early childhood. Those with SM speak fluently in some situations but remain consistently silent in others. They may have a blank expression, or appear ‘frozen’ when expected to speak.
With early intervention the prognosis for recovery is good, but in some cases it may persist and last right through a child’s school life and sometimes even into adulthood. It is important to understand that those with SM want to speak, but find themselves physically unable to do so due to their anxiety.
SMiRA, which is based in Leicester, is run by a part time paid Coordinator and 12 volunteer Trustees. The day to day work involves answering enquiries and supplying advice, support and information on SM. We have a very active private Facebook group where over 21,000 members from all over the world can chat and gain advice from SMiRA and a large number of international experts on SM.
SMiRA periodically undertakes research projects on SM and related topics, and helps to support other researchers.
Our team of Trustees includes professionals working with people with SM as well as parents of children/adults with SM. We also have a group of SMiRA Associates who are experts in their field who help SMiRA. See our website for more details.