Selective Mutism: a new book “The Loudest Roar”

I love reading books and I feel that children connect so well with pictures and words… it go straight to their “inner” mind and it all makes more sense. Using metaphors and examples to explain situation is a fantastic way to help them understand.
I was looking for new book for children with Selective Mutism and I came across this lovely book called “The Loudest Roar” by Clair Maskell. She is so lovely and has agreed to talk to me about her journey and to be part of my BLOG HOP to raise awareness for Selective Mutism, I will be writing about where anxiety comes from and here are the other blogs:

Clair is an ex nursery nurse, with a lot of experience working with children. She had never heard of SM, and following a short training, she felt that SM was not really discussed in depth. Then, a few years ago I met a little girl who was at her daughter’s pre-school. They then started school together, and she became friendly with this girl’s mum who explained that her child had selective mutism.

The more I learnt about how E. struggled every day when outside of home, the more I realised how little awareness there is of this condition. Teachers were not always sure on how to approach SM, often inadvertently saying the wrong thing and making things worse. I hadn’t realised that anxiety is a massive part of selective mutism, causing a huge amount of worry for not only the child, but the parents too.
Children with SM often get labelled as rude, lazy, shy or badly behaved all because they do not speak. Situations like falling over and not being able to cry, feeling ill and not being able to tell anyone or simply just needing the toilet are all daily issues which add to the anxiety.
Clair felt that she needed to do something, something which could help explain SM in simple terms which would educate children and raise awareness; as a children’s author, the best way was writing a book.
The Loudest Roar tells the story of Angus, a lion who has a fantastic roar, but whenever he leaves home, his roar doesn’t work. Angus is instead accepted by his peers as who he is, without being expected to roar.
A lot of the literacy for children about SM often end with the characters talking or whispering, but I felt that the book should resonate with SM sufferers realistically and not cause any undue pressure.
I think that the book is well written in a simple way that children can start relating to the situation, without feeling the pressure. It is a book about acceptance, I would like to see the next part of when he will be courageous and he can roar, as children with anxieties can overcome them. They need to believe that they can take small steps towards the right direction.
The book is receiving  a great response, it is being used across the UK in some schools and has been well received in America, Australia and Canada.
It is important to raise awareness for Selective Mutism in a friendly way and children with SM are recognising themselves in Angus and his story.
Clair has a facebook page, please feel free to join the growing community. She is an ex nursery nurse, with a foundation degree in childcare and education. Then she became a mummy. She ran a website for parents and practitioners for a while.
Currently she is juggling writing as well being a mummy. Her books focus to help children to reach their full potential, by helping them in some way. … so keep your eyes open as she has new books coming up.
Thank you so much Clair, looking forward to your new books.
Anna Biavati-Smith
Specialist Speech and language Therapist
© Copyright 2017 edinburgh-speech-therapy-wordsteps.co.uk . All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Clair Maskell
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