MUTISM.CA originated from a family in which all three children suffered from selective mutism. Due to a lack of awareness, no one was able to help these children while mother Poling Bork was desperately and helplessly watching her children suffer in silence.
With a sheer determination and a strong impulse to find a resolution, she embarked on a long, daunting, yet rewarding journey which resulted in the acquisition of the necessary knowledge to help her children overcome selective mutism. Today, not only Poling’s children are autonomous speakers, she has also:
- Helped many children regain their voices
- Provided parents with selective mutism related parenting strategies
- Lead and conducted research and studies on selective mutism
- Provided specific pedagogical approaches for educators who work with children with selective mutism
- Provided sound advice to professionals including Speech Language Pathologist and paediatricians on how to best address selective mutism
- Dissimilated her knowledge (and research findings) to other selective mutism experts, parents, educators, and health care professionals
Poling’s commitment to conducting ethical and rigorous research has made her a respected go-to-SM expert. She has published numerous research articles in peer-reviewed journals, presented her findings in dozens of national and international conferences, and is an invited speaker for many events/organizations. With a background in Computer Science, Poling is also the first researcher to propose using software application that incorporates video games to treat selective mutism (see Bork & Wood, 2010, http://www.designingforchildren.net/posters/poling-bork-designingforchildren.pdf). Under her guidance, a team of software engineers, including her own daughters Natassia and Annuschka who had suffered from selective mutism, developed the Meeu: one of the first empirically sound software application specifically designed for young children with selective mutism.
Our goals at MUTISM.CA are:
- To provide resources and to recommend options for selective mutism related topics
- To provide a common ground where people with selective mutism from all over the world can network and support one another
- To foster dialogues between parents, educators, speech language pathologists, clinicians, health care professionals, and researchers
- To generate resources to support clinical and research opportunities
Please join us today, and help unlock the silence together!