Hi. I’m Milana, and I was 10 years old when we started this blog, in January of 2022. I have always struggled to speak in public settings for as long as I can remember. Everyone always thought I was just VERY shy, and that exposure would help me get over it. They did not understand that it was more than that. It was only when I turned eight that one of my therapists discovered that I actually had SM, and I was not just shy. I started this blog so I could share my experiences and how I handled them. I also started it because I know there are other kids who are struggling with SM, and I think it helps them to know that they are not alone. I also wanted to help make people aware about SM, even though there is such a small number of people who suffer from it.
Gabriel, Milana’s older brother
Hi, I’m Gabriel, co-writing this blog. I was 12 years old at the time of starting this blog (I am 13 now).
Selective mutism is basically somebody like Milana being very shy and not very willing to speak in public. People with selective mutism are generally overall shy people. It is generally caused by a fear of public embarrassment or any other type of shyness. Many times this can happen not only with strangers, but even people you might see up to 4-5 times a week! They will generally want to speak, but feel mentally restrained, even knowing that nothing less than positive will happen when they speak. This type of fear, however, manifests mostly from ages 11-13, while the beginnings of selective mutism can happen as early as 3-6 years old. For these children, there is a much weaker version of this social phobia, and children may be less aware of it in these early years than in their later. Sometimes, children will speak in a some select scenarios, but in other cases they will very rarely speak, overall depending on the amount of anxiety that they have in social circumstances.