What we do
SMIRA became a UK Registered Charity in 1992, having been set up initially to support families with selectively mute children. This work has since been extended to provide information to health and education professionals involved in the upbringing of such children and young people.
Selective Mutism, 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.