Family Support Group: Understanding and Treating Selective Mutism as a Social Communication Anxiety Disorder

Presented by Jennifer Brittingham, LPC

Selective Mutism is a childhood anxiety disorder characterized by a child’s inability to speak and engage in effective communication in at least one social setting. Other anxiety disorders such as social anxiety and social phobia often go along with Selective Mutism. These disorders can interfere with academic performance as well as the development of healthy social relationships.

Join this session to learn about what Selective Mutism is, the developmental factors that can contribute to it, some of the behaviors indicative of it, how Selective Mutism differs from shyness and some treatment and accommodation strategies that can be used to address it.



Jennifer Brittingham is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) who completed her Master’s degree in the Clinical Counseling Psychology Program at Arcadia University. Jennifer has been a team member of the Smart Center since 2005. She conducts S-CAT® Program evaluations and treatment to families, S-CAT® Parent coaching and training sessions to families across the country and abroad, and provides school consultation and training to school districts and other organizations both on-site and via web workshops. Jennifer graduated from Arcadia University with her M.A. in Clinical Counseling Psychology in 2008 and was a Pennsylvania Counseling Association Graduate Leader from 2007 to 2008. Prior to her work at the SMart Center, Jennifer has worked as a case manager for children with mental retardation, elementary school special education resource assistant, and as both a college counselor, as well as a college drug and alcohol counselor and support group leader.