Mary: Breaking the Silence on Anxiety Disorder

Student Testimony

Her previous schools viewed Mary, a young woman who refused to speak after experiencing years of horrifying abuse at home, as a student who could not be educated—the staff at Aseltine disagreed. They saw Mary’s potential and worked with her like the bright, capable young woman they knew she was hiding behind her fear and hopelessness. Mary was used to staff members at other schools treating her like she was helpless and talking at her and about her; she expected the same at Aseltine. The Aseltine staff refused to accept Mary’s silence, and one CRF in particular dedicated himself to reaching Mary. His persistence resulted in Mary uttering one word after six weeks. Soon, Mary began talking regularly, sharing her struggles and excelling in school. Mary graduated, went on to excel at UCSD, and later got her law degree from the University of San Diego Law School. Her field of specialization is family and child advocacy.

Learn More about Selective Mutism

More than 90% of children with Selective Mutism also have social phobia or social anxiety. This disorder is quite debilitating and painful to the child. Children and adolescents with Selective Mutism have an actual FEAR of speaking and of social interactions where there is an expectation to speak and communicate.

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