How should teachers and parents react when a child consistently does not speak in certain situations when speech is expected, for example in kindergarten or school? In this book, the author has tried to reach an understanding of selective mutism. Her approach has been twofold: Firstly, she has observed everyday interactions between children with selective mutism and other children and adults in kindergartens, schools, and homes. Secondly, she has interviewed formerly selectively mute adults, selectively mute children themselves, and their parents and teachers.
What seemed to be the meaning of silence from the child's own perspective and from the perspectives of other children and adults? How did teachers succeed in encouraging communication and including selectively mute children? And what characterized interactions that did not help children to begin to speak and participate in kindergarten and school? The intended audience of this book is teachers in kindergartens and schools, professionals in the helping services, researchers, students, and parents.