Research into Selective Mutism

Michael Jones conducted UK-wide research into the use of interactive computer software at home and at school, to support children with SM who are at an early stage of becoming confident speakers. Two pieces of software, ‘Choose and Tell’ and ‘Lexion’ were introduced to the children at home, as this is their ‘comfort zone’ where they are able to speak freely. Once the children are confident with the software, it was transferred to school, for use in class. The hope was that the children with SM would be more likely to talk with their classmates while using the programs. Findings from the pilot stage of the research are very encouraging.

The two pieces of interactive software used in Michael Jones’ research are:

‘Lexion’ interactive software to support reading, spelling and language development. Visit for more details.

‘Choose and Tell’ software to develop language and storytelling is produced by Inclusive Technology. Visit for more details.

Selective Mutism research 2012

Michael has successfully introduced children to fun interactive games software at home and, when they are ready, the children have shared the software with their friends and adults at school. This has been used as part of a programme to gradually encourage joining in, and eventually talking, in small groups in school.

Michael is now exploring the potential of using Link2Nature Nature Baskets in the same way. A Nature Basket a set of natural materials that inspire imaginative play. Families with a child with Selective Mutism are lent a basket to explore at home. When the children feel they are ready, they can take the basket to school to play with, along with their friends. Gradually adults can become involved.

We hope that this will be another useful approach to helping children in the early stages of becoming confident talkers at school.

For more information about this approach, click here.