Wordless: Living With Selective Mutism

Open Access
Tang, Helen
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Elizabeth Kadetsky, Thesis Supervisor
  • Marcy North, Honors Advisor
  • disability studies
  • disability
  • autobiography
  • nonfiction
  • selective mutism
  • creative writing
This thesis is an autobiographical account of my personal experiences with selective mutism, an anxiety disorder that renders people afraid to speak in social situations. Although the condition can have severe negative impacts on a person's life, there is very limited research and awareness of it. This means individuals who have selective mutism are often undiagnosed, untreated, misunderstood, and mistreated. Through interviews with my family, research, and examination of other peoples' experiences, I have created a narrative that I hope will educate readers on the struggles people with selective mutism face. More importantly, I hope this thesis can shed some light on what can be done to treat and help improve life for those with selective mutism.