Prospect of Selective Mutism Intervention: Techno Style

By Poling Bork.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Children with Selective Mutism (SM) are capable of speaking but consistently fail to speak in social situations. It is believed that this paralyzing condition is an anxiety related disorder that is best described as “the fear of being seen or heard speaking”. Successful treatments of SM incorporating technology in the intervention process have been documented. Shaping of speech using telephone (Porjes, 1992), walkie-talkies, and audio-recording (Sloan, 2007), as well as the self-modeling technique using video feed- forwarding (Pigott & Gonzales, 1987; Sloan, 2007) all have obtained appreciable results in the systematic desensitization process. However, given the technological advancement and how it has intertwined in our daily life, it seems technology has been underutilized in the SM intervention. The purposes of this paper are: 1) identifying age appropriate communication technology that can be incorporated in the SM treatment, specifically, the ones that can be utilized in the classroom, where mutism is most predominant (Remschmidt, Poller, Herpertz-Dahlmann, Henninghausen, & Gutenbrunner, 2001); 2) examining how these technologies may enhance SM intervention programs, and to maximize academic and social experiences of the children with SM.

Keywords: Selective Mutism, Communication Technology, Augmentative and Alternative Communication System, Intervention, Technological Advancement, Psychoeduational Software

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.37-42. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 635.873KB).

Poling Bork

PhD Student, Faculty of Education, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Poling M. Bork, B. Sc., M.Ed., (Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario) is a PhD student in the Faculty of Education at Brock University. Having devoted the past 7 years researching Selective Mutism (SM) to help her children overcome this “unfamiliar” anxiety disorder, Poling is dedicating her research in psychoeducational assessments and interventions for children with SM and other related anxiety disorders. Beside presenting paper at international conferences and conducting workshops, she has developed a handbook for parents and teachers to help intervene children with SM. With her undergraduate degree in Computer Science, Poling is currently investigating how to incorporate technology in the SM intervention program.

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