Ridding the Silence of Selective Mutism Through Research

The Selective Mutism Research Institute (SMRI) is a non-profit organization founded by a family who was successfully treated for Selective Mutism with Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum’s S-CAT® Program at the Selective Mutism, Anxiety, & Related Disorders Treatment Center (SMart Center). The S-CAT® Program proved so successful for them and their child that they founded the non-profit to study the efficacy of this world-renowned treatment approach.

The mission of SMRI is to:

  1. Train. SMRI seeks to further knowledge of the assessment and treatment of Selective Mutism and related social communication disorders among professionals (pre-doctoral, post-doctoral, therapists, institution-based researchers, etc.) through educational workshops and training initiatives. SMRI aims to increase the number of treatment professionals who are trained in the world-renowned and evidence-based S-CAT® approach to the treatment of Selective Mutism.
  2. Educate. SMRI promotes awareness and treatment of selective mutism as a disorder of social communication through professional presentations, dissemination of research, and public outreach. SMRI emphasizes increasing awareness of selective mutism and evidence-supported methods of assessment and treatment for parents to implement and for school staff to develop the proper interventions/accommodations for students (IEPs/504s).
  3. Research: SMRI supports:
    • research on the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of selective mutism. Specifically, SMRI conducts research on the evidence-supported Social Communication Anxiety Treatment (S-CAT)® program.
    • research that promotes understanding of the etiology, development, and maintenance of selective mutism symptoms, including comorbid conditions, factors that impact treatment progress, and the effects of selective mutism throughout the lifespan.
    • the dissemination of research on selective mutism through professional presentations and publications.
  4. Scholarships: SMRI seeks to
    • provide grants for doctoral students, researchers, universities, and clinicians doing dissertations on Selective Mutism
    • contribute donations to The SMart Center’s “Mr. B Scholarship Award” which provides financial assistance to families to receive S-CAT® services and attend CommuniCamp™.

Click here to learn more about our story and our vision.

Web Resources

A personal experience inspired Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum to delve into the enigma that was Selective Mutism and has dedicated the past 20+ years to studying, researching, and treating individuals who suffer in silence. Here is a collection of research studies, literature, educational workshops, organizations, and other resources to spread awareness, understanding, and support of individuals affected by Selective Mutism.

Professional Presentations

These professional and scientific presentations have been completed through funding and support from the Selective Mutism Research Institute.

What is Selective Mutism (SM)? SM is a childhood anxiety disorder characterized by a child’s inability to speak and communicate effectively in select social settings, such as school. These children are able to speak and communicate in settings where they are comfortable, secure, and relaxed. Our research has demonstrated that a key aspect to success in treatment is understanding and addressing the child’s unique needs; hence addressing the whole child, not his/her mutism.

Overcoming Selective Mutism is possible!

Selective Mutism is an everyday struggle for many individuals of all ages in all types of settings. We believe that an effective assessment and treatment approach is critical for success in overcoming this disorder. The SMart Center’s S-CAT® Program is an evidence-based treatment (thanks to funding from SMRI) that has been used to successfully over 6,000 individuals world-wide. Here are a few of their stories.