What all school staff need to know about Selective Mutism: A whole school approach


Selective mutism is a complex but treatable anxiety disorder which affects 1 in every 140 children from Kindy to 2nd grade. It is important for all staff to understand about this condition so that they can respond in the most appropriate way.

This 1.5 hour seminar is for primary- and high-school management staff and support teams, learning support staff, school psychologists and preschool directors who have a child with selective mutism at their school, and would like to know the best approach to educating all school staff about this relatively unknown condition. This is not a comprehensive school treatment approach (as covered in our 3-hour seminars for classroom teachers who have a student with selective mutism), but strategies for all staff at a school to follow to prevent issues with worsening the mutism and allowing the best environment for children with selective mutism to thrive.


Topics that will be covered in the evening seminar:

  • What is Selective Mutism
  • Understanding Selective Mutism as an anxiety disorder
  • Do’s and don’ts of general management of children with selective mutism
  • Factors that affect the child’s ability to communicate
  • How to get children with selective mutism to communicate with you and in the classroom
  • Common issues and questions
  • Lots of time will be provided for participants to ask questions about specific cases


The seminar is recommended for:

  • Primary school, high school, and preschool management staff who would like to educate all staff at their school about how to talk to and manage a child  selective mutism.
  • School psychologists or learning support staff who wish to do the same as above.
  • Please note, that this seminar does not cover comprehensive school treatment strategies for children with selective mutism (as covered in our 3-hour seminars). This seminar is about educating all school staff about this condition.


About the presenter:

The evening seminar will be conducted by Dr Elizabeth Woodcock, a Clinical Psychologist, who established and is the Director of the Selective Mutism Clinic in Sydney. She is co-author of the book chapter ‘Treatment Programmes for Children with Selective Mutism’ in the book ‘Innovations and Advances in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy’ edited by D. Einstein (2007). Elizabeth has worked in both private practice and the public sector, in both research and clinical settings for over fifteen years. Elizabeth provides treatment for children and adults with a range of clinical disorders, and regularly provides training seminars for teachers, parents, and clinicians about Selective Mutism.