About selective mutism

Finding Our Voices is an online magazine and community about selective mutism, written by those with first hand experience and knowledge of the disorder. The first issue of the magazine came out at the end of August 2014 and has had views from all over the world from the UK and USA to Japan, India and Australia.

What is in the magazine?

  • Interviews with SM organisations such as SMIRA and the Selective Mutism Group
  • Coping techniques
  • Readers poems, stories and articles
  • Your experiences with SM
  • Raising awareness/fundraising

There have been articles from people with SM, their parents, teachers and friends. The magazine includes as many articles as possible sent in from yourselves and so the topics vary each issue.

For more details on what is in each issue and to view the magazine you can go to the Magazine page.

What is selective mutism?

Selective mutism is a disorder wihere the person has difficulty speaking in certain situations (such as school). They are capable of speech and understand what is being said but may be unable to respond due to anxiety.

Although some people may not hear them speak a word, someone with selective mutism (SM) is likely to be chatty and confident in places where they feel most comfortable such as at home. In fact, it often comes as a surprise to the parents when they find out their child isn’t speaking at school because of how loud they are at home!

It is estimated that around seven in a thousand children have SM, although as only a small number of professionals are aware of the disorder this number may be much higher; it could well be as common as austism.

SM is most common in children and is often diagnosed in early childhood, however there are also a lot of teenagers and adults who also suffer with the disorder. If left untreated it can be carried on into adulthood and can be debilitating (how do you get a job if you can’t talk?). But there is hope and with the right help, support and advice it can certainly be overcome. Have a look at the Useful SM Links page for suggested websites, blogs and forums for selective mutism support.

Useful information

When is the next issue?

There magazine is now yearly and the next issue is due out early October 2015.

If you would like to send in your experience with SM, an article, story or artwork for the next issue or for the website please email it to: contact@findingourvoices.co.uk. Go to the Contribute page for more details.

How did the magazine start?

I’m Rosie, 27, and have had selective mutism for most of my life. I first started the magazine as I wanted to give something back to those who have helped me through the SM and I thought a magazine would be a good way to get all of the great support and advice from the different SM groups, charities, organisations and people together.

After coming up with the idea in the early summer 2014 I started looking into if it was possible. I wanted to create a free magazine but without having to spend money on it myself. I set up a free WordPress account and started blogging for the first time. After looking at various different magazine websites I decided to design it in Microsoft Publisher and convert it to a pdf so I could upload it on the blog.

I’ve spent a lot more time working on it than I thought I would but I really enjoy doing it. It’s helped me open up about SM and I can talk about it for the first time with my family and friends. It’s also amazing to hear from others who have gone through the same struggle; I wish that I had known more people with SM when I was younger and felt alone but it’s the now that matters.

Who publishes it?

The magazine is put together by myself, Rosie, in my spare time. I have had SM since childhood and I wanted to give something back to the SM community who have helped me and also to give hope to others that it can be overcome. You can read a bit more about me in the first issue of the magazine.

Your amazing feedback!

"I find the magazine extremely informative. Great stories and great referencing. It really makes you feel 'not alone'!"

Your amazing feedback!

"Your magazine really impressed me. After I read it I didn't feel so alone anymore."

Your amazing feedback!

"Really interesting and helpful articles. Well done Elizabeth and Donna too! I loved your pieces. Looking forward to the next issue already."

Your amazing feedback!

"I have really enjoyed writing pieces for this and I hope even more people will join in next time"

Your amazing feedback!

"What a brilliant magazine, so much hard work, creativity and love has gone into this - it will be an inspiration for so many people. Wishing you good luck and huge amounts of energy to produce many more issues!"

Your amazing feedback!

"It looks amazing! The first thing I went straight to was the article Lizzie wrote about our meet up... Definitely brought a tear to my eye reading how much it helped her!"

Your amazing feedback!

"It is so professionally done, really informative"

Your amazing feedback!

"Wonderful! Awesome! Fantastic! I wish I could have read something like this when we first encountered SM! You've helped so many with this magazine. What are you doing is so very important!"

Your amazing feedback!

"This is amazing!"

Your amazing feedback!

"I got your magazine today, it's awesome! Thank you so much"

Your amazing feedback!

"I recommend you for your hard work in 'spreading the word' about SM. I am encouraged by the rise of interest in the condition over the 21 years of SMIRA's existence, which, I am sure, is due, in no small part, to the efforts of the organisation in raising the profile of this disorder. The more ways that people can learn about it, the better."