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Selective Mutism The Many Words Within Us




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Presenter: Catharina M. Kleuskens, LSCW-R, Ph.D. Candidate

Date: Thursday, December 10, 2020

: 5:30pm

Workshop: 5:45pm - 9:00pm

Member: $60.00

Student: $25.00

Non-Member Professional: $85.00

This program is offered for .3 ASHA CEUs, Intermediate Level; Professional Area



Catharina M. Kleuskens, LSCW-R, Ph.D. Candidate will be receiving an honorarium from LISHA for her presentation. 


Catharina M. Kleuskens, LSCW-R, Ph.D. Candidate has no non-financial relationships to report.


Zoom Webinar Platform

Workshop Coordinator

Angela Murphy, M.A., CCC-SLP, Director of Speech-Language Pathology 


This presentation will discuss what anxiety is, types of anxiety, approaches, and treatment options. We will discuss separation anxiety and selective mutism separately in detail to further explain their prevalence, who it affects and how to best treat it. We will further discuss selective mutism and speech pathology, and social and pragmatic skills. Selective mutism is an anxiety disorder that is often mistaken for “shyness”. Children and adolescents with selective mutism can speak freely in situations where they feel comfortable but have an actual fear of speaking and communication in new or uncomfortable situations. Selective mutism affects a child’s social emotional development but also their communication and sensory processing skills. About 20-30% of children and adolescents with selective mutism also have a speech and/or language delay, such as receptive and/or expressive language abnormalities and language delays. The awareness of a speech/language disorder can cause more anxiety in situations where there is an expectation to speak. This presentation will discuss the assessment and treatment process from a multidisciplinary perspective and approach to create a better understanding of selective mutism, current research and literature include.


Catharina M. Kleuskens, LSCW-R, Ph.D. Candidate is a clinical social worker who specializes in the treatment of children (and their families) across a range of developmental stages including infancy, early childhood, school age, and adolescence. She further specializes in childhood anxiety, selective mutism and autism spectrum disorders. She implements regular parent guidance meetings to help facilitate and implement communication and behavior management skills. She also consults with school staff regarding behavioral management or other specific approaches needed in the classroom. Her office is based on Long Island. Catharina has worked in the field for over 20 years with children and their families. She graduated from the University of Sittard, the Netherlands and has many years of clinical training. She is currently pursuing her doctorate at Adelphi University to continue research on the impact of selective mutism and other childhood anxiety disorders on children and adolescents. She offers treatment in her office, at the client’s home or school environments to support every child’s individual goals and needs. She uses a variety of techniques and clinical interventions that include cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy. 

**LISHA speaker selection does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products or procedures. We reserve the right to substitute speakers due to circumstances beyond our control.**

Learning Objectives

Participants will:
1.    Describe etiologies related to selective mutism and have a better understanding of the role of anxiety in selective mutism.
2.    Discuss effective assessment measures and procedures that can assist in a speech and language evaluation and/or treatment of children with selective mutism.
3.    Identify connections between speech production (including language competence, vocal control, and expression) and treatments of selective mutism.
4.    List levels of communication from non-vocal to spontaneous vocalization in treating children with selective mutism.


5:30 – 5:45        Registration
5:45 – 6:15        What is Anxiety? 
6:15 – 6:30        Anxiety Versus “Shy” 
6:30 – 7:00        Coping Skills, Types of Anxiety and Separation Anxiety
7:00 – 7:15        Treatment and Intervention Approaches, Rescuing
7:15 – 7:30        BREAK
7:30 - 8:00        Stages of Selective Mutism, Treatment Do’s and Don’ts 
8:00 – 8:15        Cognitive Behavior Therapy, CBT in Schools, Cognitive Restructuring
8:15 – 8:30        Case Examples, Social and Pragmatic Skills
8:30 – 8:45        Preparing for Success, TED Talk on SM
8:45 – 9:00        Questions and Answers


Confirmations of registration can be obtained at or e-mail at


Cancellations are refundable if received 72 business hours prior to the event. Please note: Registrants will receive a certificate of completion when the course has been successfully completed. 


PowerPoint/Handout Presentations and Zoom link will be emailed to confirmed attendees 72 hours prior to the workshop. 



December 10th, 2020 5:30 PM   through   9:00 PM
Zoom Webinar
United States
Event Fee(s)
Professional Fee $ 85.00

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