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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been wondering about this. I write about her SM on my blog Raising Smart Girls, but I've been wanting to reach more people. When I was searching for first hand accounts of SM, I didn't find much. Just one other mom who blogged about her child. The closest I'd come to about finding a book about parenting a child who couldn't speak was Schuyler's Monster, a father who started off blogging about his child's polymicrogyria (although her condition is permanent, while dd's non-speech was only in certain social arenas and is treatable). What connected me to his story even more was that he visited my old laboratory and even spoke to one of the leading brain researchers, someone I worked with at my laboratory. I realized then that reaching out to others struggling like I was is very, very important.

What I did in particular about SM, at least on SM message boards, was that I found a lot of pain of adults struggling with SM because nobody knew how to help them as children. I've read stories of young adults wanting to kill themselves because no one understood what they were going through. Children with SM are at risk for depression and suicide if untreated. If caught early, the chances of it being overcome with less time is great and medications will not be needed.

We caught our daughters case early. I wrote a ton about it while we were trying to figure out what was going on, not on my blog, but I have the stories stored on my computer.

I know I'd have enough for a small book. I am thinking of putting something together, but I have no idea how to start making this a reality. I personally don't care if I see a dime from it, but I want to help other families.

What do you think?
 

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i think it is great that you want to write about your family's experience!!

maybe you could start by writing an article and submitting it to a parenting magazine and then build from there???

you could also consider an e-book? (i'm exploring that right now and it seems pretty straight-forward and user-friendly to create one)

I especially think it is great that you have your notes from the early stage of your family's journey. I'm sure there is so much wisdom in there that other families could benefit from!
 

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Yes, definitely! I think you should share your story in one form or another. It could be incredibly helpful to others who are going through something similar. I have become much more interested in language issues since having a slow-to-start-talking niece. I'm sure there are people out there who would love to hear your story.
 

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Absolutely! Check out querytracker.com and agentquery.com for agents who are interested in nonfiction. All you need to query a non-fiction project is an outline, and 3 first chapters. It looks like you have most of it already. I'd certainly try agents and publishers first before settling for an ebook. This is an interesting topic, and as you say, not much information is available. Good luck!
 

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Parenting mags are always looking for first-person stories about issues parents are dealing with. This would suit any of the nationals as well as the regionals if the nationals don't bite (which they may not because of current economics...).

The way to pitch is as a query - an opening that shows your style and outlines your story (typically something like a vingette of a pivotal moment in your daughter's treatment) then you follow with a graf that tells what selective mutism is and how common it is (I'm thinking it must be fairly common because our small school has two girls in the same grade with varying levels of the condition). Then go with a graf that outlines (briefly) what your article will include, ie what your journey looked like. Close with your credits/experience.

This needs to go to the health editor at which ever mags you want to try for.

Once you have that experience and with the blog in place I would put together a proposal and start shopping for an agent.

good luck with it!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ceilydhmama View Post
Parenting mags are always looking for first-person stories about issues parents are dealing with. This would suit any of the nationals as well as the regionals if the nationals don't bite (which they may not because of current economics...).

The way to pitch is as a query - an opening that shows your style and outlines your story (typically something like a vingette of a pivotal moment in your daughter's treatment) then you follow with a graf that tells what selective mutism is and how common it is (I'm thinking it must be fairly common because our small school has two girls in the same grade with varying levels of the condition). Then go with a graf that outlines (briefly) what your article will include, ie what your journey looked like. Close with your credits/experience.

This needs to go to the health editor at which ever mags you want to try for.

Once you have that experience and with the blog in place I would put together a proposal and start shopping for an agent.

good luck with it!
This is a great idea, to have an article published before shopping for an agent!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm so sorry for not getting back to you all. I've been so sick this past few days with intense head congestion. And lately when I've been checking the search function, it used to be that threads that get new responses would be highlighted, and for some reason, they don't anymore.

At any rate. Thanks so much for the information. I will be investigating this a little further. I could try the magazine idea. That would be a great start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by ceilydhmama View Post
Parenting mags are always looking for first-person stories about issues parents are dealing with. This would suit any of the nationals as well as the regionals if the nationals don't bite (which they may not because of current economics...).

The way to pitch is as a query - an opening that shows your style and outlines your story (typically something like a vingette of a pivotal moment in your daughter's treatment) then you follow with a graf that tells what selective mutism is and how common it is (I'm thinking it must be fairly common because our small school has two girls in the same grade with varying levels of the condition). Then go with a graf that outlines (briefly) what your article will include, ie what your journey looked like. Close with your credits/experience.

This needs to go to the health editor at which ever mags you want to try for.

Once you have that experience and with the blog in place I would put together a proposal and start shopping for an agent.

good luck with it!
I think it used to be 1/1000, now it's suspected to be like 7/1000 but not diagnosed or diagnosed properly. So, while possibly not extremely rare, it's falling under the radar of detection.

There are 760 kids in the elementary school dd goes to (well, she goes to the preschool connected to it). Dd is the only selectively mute child. And the special needs coordinator for the county told me they only have worked with 1 child in all their history of working there with selective mutism (our area is a suburban area and fairly densely populated). But, the good news was that they attended a workshop last December which had SM as one of the presentations and they came back with some good stuff. So, it's quite possible that the reason I feel so alone is because SM is not as prevalent in my neck of the woods.

And according to wiki, it's even being detected incorrectly as autism especially in young children:

"In young children, selective mutism can sometimes be confused with an autism spectrum disorder, especially if the child acts particularly withdrawn around his or her diagnostician. Unfortunately, this can lead to incorrect treatment. Individuals with selective mutism can communicate normally when in a situation in which they feel comfortable, as can many individuals on the autism spectrum, especially those with Asperger's Syndrome.

And the thing is, since kids are typically shy in the younger years, no one really notices that there is a real problem going on until they are older, and past 8 where it gets more ingrained and harder to deal with.

I don't know how we got so lucky to have it detected so early (well, it was partly my own mom who suggested it), but I was in need of answers. It wasn't just the not speaking, it was the other emotional fallout. She'd not speak in school, but be cooperative otherwise, and then come home and totally fall apart. I really thought for a while she had a personality disorder or something more serious.

I will start exploring how to at least get an article query submitted, the way you suggested ceilydhmama - thank you thank you.
 
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