Acknowledgements & Disclaimers







I would like to note all of the people I either quote, reference, or acknowledge and thank in this book:


A) Professionals either specializing in the evaluation or treatment of SM, working in SM treatment centers, and/or conducting SM research


Steven Kurtz, Ph.D., ABPP, Rachel Busman, Psy.D., Lindsey Bergman, Ph.D., Carmen Lynas, Ph.D., Andrea Brandon, Psy.D., Ashley O'Meara, Ed.D., ABSNP, Elisa Shipon-Blum, D.O., and Aimee Kotrba, Ph.D., LP. (There are many more, but I cannot possibly cover everyone. Some have similar philosophies on treatment and others have differing views. They are all using research informed techniques. As a disclaimer, the spcialists in SM and the staff working in these evaluation, treatment, and/or research centers do not endorse my book, nor do they agree or disagree with anything I have written in this book. If I quote them on something or reference them, it may be my personal interpretation. If a reader tries something that I quote, reference, and interpret from them, neither they, nor I, are responsible for any negative consequences or outcomes. If readers seek treatment from any of these people, they cannot guarantee success or an absence of symptoms, and treatment is at your own risk.) 


B) General education teachers, special-education teachers, school counselors, school social workers, speech therapists, occupational therapists, itinerants, school psychologists, clinical psychologists, and specials teachers of art, music, and PE, in different schools who have worked with shy children, and children with anxiety, social anxiety disorder, and/or SM, and who I either reference, acknowledge, and/or quote 


Anna Hammond, Psy.D., Marilyn DeStefano, M.A., LCSW, Becky Herman, M.S., MSW, Deb Zielke, MSW, Dawn Klancic, M.A.T., LSW, Erin O'Donnell, M.A., Michelle Frank, Kelly Grace, M.A., LCSW, Danielle Martin, M.A., Lauren Sanders, M.S., LCPC, Amanda Millard, M.A.,  Josie Stable, M.A.,  Kristi Boston, Sharalee Lewis, M.A., LCPC, Rebecca Lallier, M.S., Stacy Washington, John Gelnnon, Ph.D., Sue Craig, M.A., Jenn Kirberg, M.A., Colleen Gjataj, M.A., Caron Jones, M.S. OTR/L, Megan Miller, Ken Sanders, Ph.D., Aimee Brito, M.A., Diana Daller, M.S., LCPC, Marc Ryan, M.S., Robyn Rider, M.A., Jeff Daggar, Lindsay McKibben, M.A., CCC-SLP, all of the staff working in the therapeutic day school where I work, and all of the Oswego 308 preschool and kindergarten staff who have dedication to working with my own little girls and their SM, especially their general education classroom teachers, special-education LBS 1 resource teachers, speech and language pathologists, social workers, art teachers, music teachers, PE teachers, librarians, cafeteria staff, and administration. (As a disclaimer, these school staff members do not endorse my book, nor do they agree or disagree with anything I have written in this book. If I quote them on something or reference them, it may be my personal interpretation. If a reader tries something that I quote, reference, or interpret from them, neither these school staff members, nor I, are responsible for any negative outcomes or consequences. If readers happen to have children attending any of the schools where these staff members work, these school staff members cannot guarantee success or an absence of symptoms. 16 of the 30 people have asked that their names were changed to protect confidentiality.)


C) Parents telling their stories of their children with SM


Kristen Banner, Dr. Michelle Fernandez, Regina Johnson, Kelly Kerlin, Katie McDermott, Sarah Jones, Jen Webber, Kristine Grace, Maggie London, Michelle Kraft, and my husband and biggest supporter, Jason MacDonald. (As a disclaimer, these parents do not endorse my book, nor do they agree or disagree with anything I have written in this book. If I quote them on something or reference them on something and a reader tries it, neither they nor I are responsible for any negative consequences or outcomes. 5 of the 11 people asked that I change their names to protect confidentiality.)


D) My mentors  and heroes in education,

counseling-psychology, and psychiatry- whom I have learned from, either in person or by the book


Susie Ozsvath, M.A., Keith Ozsvath, M.A., Rick Shaw, Ed.D., Shelley Naheedy, LCPC, Mani Pavuluri, Ph.D., M.D., Nancy Weijler, Ed.D., Ken Decker, M.A.,  Kim Redfield, M.A.,  Ross Kellan, M.A., Mark Duker, M.A., Lila Fagn, M.A., Kristin Kopta, M.A., John Glennon, Ph.D., Gary Kantor, LCSW., Dianne Surgess, M.A., Diana Majerczyk, M.A., Chris Strahs, M.A., Howard Gardner, Ph.D., B.F. Skinner, Ph.D., Andrea Walleck, M.S., Mike Carter, M.A., Lisa Grigsby, M.A., John Flannery, LPC, Mary Sue Parla, M.A., Sean Fritz, M.A., Anna Hammond, Psy.D., Sheila Eyberg, Ph.D., ABPP, Abdullah Sallaj, M.D., Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., APBB, Aaron T. Beck, M.D., Albert Ellis, Ph.D., ABPP., Russell Barkley, Ph.D., Demitri Papolos, M.D., Laura Ehlert, Psy.D., Ross Greene, Ph.D., Alfred Adler, Ph.D., and all of the staff at my therapeutic day school, including the special-education teachers, behavioral health counselors, clinical psychotherapists, expressive therapists, nurses, and administration. (As a disclaimer, these professionals in clinical environments or education do not endorse my book, nor do they agree or disagree with anything I have written in this book. If I quote them on something or reference them on something, it may be my own interpretation, and if a reader tries it, neither they, nor I, are responsible for any negative consequences or outcomes.) 



E) People who have supported this book monetarily


Patrick MacDonald, Kim Tanskanen, Juha Tanskanen, Cyndi Heurter, Barb Sullivan, Shannon Murphy, Jackie Barbanete, BJ Perez, Kathy Perez, Marilyn DeStefano, Ryan Williams, Kelly Williams, Linn Vanvoerkom, Cindy Rousseau, Rich Rousseau, Anna Webb, Mike Webb, Haylee Kalkman, Sarah Black, Jon Black, Andrea Walleck, Jimmy Walleck, Corena Spiron, Doug Spiron, Renee Selby, Caron Jones, Dan Jones, Matthew Mahan, Tara Wiegand Finke, Monika McGuire, Colleen Gjataj, Kleid Gjataj, Kelly Talaga, Catherine Melka, Vicki McDonald, Shannon Gutierrez, Flo Gutierez, Sharon White, Tom White, Erica Smigielski, Dave Smigielski, Michelle Kraft, James Kraft, Kathy Morrow, Joan Mueller, and Ted Mueller. (As a disclaimer, these people do not endorse my book, nor do they agree or disagree with anything I have written in this book.)






F) People who have evaluated and/or treated and worked with my children: medically, emotionally, academically, spiritually, musically, athletically, and in recent care-taker roles 


Pamela Huang, M.D., Charlene Brown, M.D., Paula Gewarges, D.O., Cyndi Heurter, Jack Flight, LCSW, RDDP, CSOTS, Carmen Lynas, Ph.D., Andrea Brandon, Psy.D., Ashley O'Meara, Ed.D., ABSNP,  all of the Adventure Camp staff volunteers at Advanced Therapeutic Solutions, all of the Oswego School District 308 preschool and kindergarten employees, all of the Palmers Gymnastics coaches and Phenom Gymnastics coaches, all of the staff at Community Christian Church's Kids' City program, and care-takers of Amanda Terry, Lisa Gendusa, Kim Redfield, Holly Potter, Kelly Norton, LSW, Teagan Ziegler, and Joan & Ted Mueller. The combination of these people have allowed my girls to live more peaceful lives. (As a disclaimer, these professionals do not endorse my book, nor do they agree or disagree with anything I have written in this book. If I quote them on something or reference them on something, it may be my own interpretation, and if a reader tries it, neither they, nor I, are responsible for any negative consequences or outcomes.)



G) People who have guided me spiritually


Carter Moss, Shannon Gutierrez, Jen Vergara, LCSW, Andrea Walleck, John Rinehimer, Aimee Brito, Marianne Costales-Roman, LCSW, and Melissa Novacek, LCSW. (As a disclaimer, these people do not endorse my book, nor do they agree or disagree with anything I have written in this book.)



H) Selective Mutism Advocates


Eve Keepings de Jesus, M.S. needs to be commended for her dedication to SM. She is currently producing a documentary to bring awareness and exposure to SM. Her website is


Becky Herman, M.S., MSW, has written a proposal advocating for SM research and programs, in hopes that UIC will make it into a formal research project.



I) Publishing Company

Of course, I have to thank Balboa Press for the opportunity to publish this work! (Balboa Press is not responsible for any negative outcomes of readers and also does not agree or disagree with anything in this work.)



Further Resources

Dr. Kurtz and Dr. Lynas have a DVD available offering continuing hours of education credit for certain professionals for their state’s licensing and professional regulation laws. It’s available from PESI, titled, Tailored Intensive Treatment for Selective Mutism (ADAA Conference), and it can be found at:


Dr. Kotrba also has a DVD available through PESI for continuing hours of education, titled Unlocking the Mystery of Selective Mutism and Social Anxiety. You can go to this link to order the DVD:


There are more resources- check out my works cited below! There are plenty of other books by the same authors I quote, reference, acknowledge, or thank that I did not specifically use as a reference in Suffering in Silence, but you can look them up on Amazon. There are plenty of books on SM by other authors that I have not read, so I can't specifically recommend, but there are plenty of choices. 



© 2015 by Donna Mac with Balboa Press. Cover design by Donna Mac. Photography credit to Katie Novorolsky (KLN Photography) for the photos on this website and ©Lifetouch, inc. for the About the Author photo in the book and on this website. It should be noted that Donna Mac does not work in private practice, so she does not seek to treat individuals with SM in a clinical setting and is not a specialist in SM. (She works in a therapeutic day school with individuals and treats a variety of mental health conditions, including an array of anxiety disorders, that come to her school from public school districts’ recommendations). As a disclaimer, nothing in this book, Suffering in Silence: Breaking Through Selective Mutism, is intended to formulate a diagnosis, rule-out a diagnosis, or offer treatment. The information provided is strictly intended for a parent to look over with the child's treating clinician, or for school staff members to look over with the child's parents and treating clinician. Each child's individual clinician will best decide the approach to take with the child at home, in community settings, and at school. They will consult with the school staff members about the means and limitations to those suggestions within each specific school setting. Donna Mac, the people she quotes, references, and/or acknowledges and thanks in this work, in addition to Balboa Press, take no responsibility for the consequences and outcomes people experience who read Suffering in Silence: Breaking Through Selective Mutism. It should be noted that the people Donna Mac references may be based on her own interpretation of their knowledge. Some of these specialists in SM have similar philosophies on SM treatment, yet some have differing views as well. However, they are all using research informed techniques, and they all have the same final goal of helping children to feel less anxious and more comfortable verbally communicating with others. Clearly, Donna Mac cannot touch on every technique from every specialist. Readers seeking evaluation and treatment for their child with one of the leading specialists in SM mentioned on this website or in this book cannot guarantee success or an absence of symptoms, and treatment is at each person’s own risk. Specific therapeutic techniques also cannot guarantee success or an absence of symptoms. Donna Mac interviewed many clinicians and school staff members from a variety of clinical settings and school settings and grade levels, in addition to parents of children with SM. If readers have children who attend these same clinical programs or schools, those staff members also cannot guarantee success. In certain circumstances, the names of children with SM and their clinicians, parents, school staff members, or schools have been changed to protect confidentiality. Donna Mac also cannot disclose the therapeutic day school where she works or the town in which it is located, and her last name is a pen name, but her master’s degree, license, years of experience, and specialty of treating suicidal adolescents in addition to bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, ADHD, psychosis, and an array of anxiety disorders are all accurate. In the book, all of the personal stories she shares about her own children and other children have not been altered, and the stories come with raw emotion of sadness, fear, and joy from watching these kids' struggles as well as their successes. The first names of Donna Mac's own children do remain the same, as does the school district they are educated in.



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