Selective Mutism (SM) is a mysterious and often misunderstood diagnosis. Though the research dates back to 1877, SM remains the most misdiagnosed mistreated disorder in the United States today. It is also one of the few disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), that can truly be cured with appropriate interventions in place.

New England Pediatric Services has teamed up on SM and is working diligently to end the silence that plagues so many. Clinical psychologist, Dr. Elizabeth Doppler-Bourassa Ph.D., Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologists Annie DiVello M.S.,CCC-SLP and Sarah Josef M.S.,CCC-SLP, and Pediatric Occupational Therapist Erica Brown OTR/L work together synergistically using  a relationship-based approach and their respective expertise in childhood anxiety, functional communication, and regulation/levels of arousal. Together, they help children, adolescents, and teenagers journey through the stages of communication comfort and confidence one brave step at a time and find their voices.

For more information, call or e-mail Annie DiVello at 1-603-296-5241 annie.divello@newenglandpediatricservices.com.

 

 

 

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Testimonial 2016 – I cannot say enough about New England Pediatric Services. In the field of selective mutism, of which all of our kids have exhibited symptoms, NEPS is an oasis in the desert of services that characterizes most of the rest of the country. We came from the West Coast about 5 years ago, where finding providers that even listed Selective mutism as an area of interest was difficult. Their advice was marginally helpful at best. In contrast, NEPS has been a wonder. They are not only experts in this field, they are skilled caregivers, compassionate partners, and staunch advocates. Their willingness to find solutions and to work with our family has surpassed the level of care we have experienced from any kind of medical professionals anywhere.

Some examples of what NEPS has done for us:
– Visited our home and kids’ schools on a weekly basis for services
– Met our kids out and about town on community outings, getting them accustomed to interacting with unfamiliar people in the public
– Strategized prior to and attended school meetings, serving as both advocates and as effective educators of school staff about key considerations / strategies for students with S.M.
– Helped us identify resources, realistic expectations, and strategies for positively working with our S.M. kids; and importantly, normalized selective mutism for us

There is no doubt that NEPS’ services are one of the main reasons our kids are mostly / fully verbal and have shown such tremendous growth over the last several years.

 

Testimonial 2016 – Our experience with Annie and her team at New England Pediatric Services has been nothing short of a miracle. Our son has struggled with SM for 5 years and we’ve struggled just as much to find anyone that has any expertise in helping him. The first time I talked to Annie, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She was the first person we’ve ever talked to that truly had an idea as to what our son was going through and how to help him. We had our team meeting with our son’s school this week and Annie drove 2 hours, both ways, to be there with us.We cannot thank her enough for her devotion to helping our child. There are no words to describe how relieved and grateful my wife and I are that we found New England Pediatric Services. We feel hopeful about the future for the first time since our son was diagnosed.

More Testimonials:

Testimonial 2016 We are exceedingly grateful to the competent therapists and employees of New England Pediatric Services. The compassion, caring, and patience they exhibit is a gift. While many people we interact with utter the familiar, “she’ll grow out of it” phrase, NEPS is actively helping teach both my daughter, and myself, how to work through her Selective Mutism Diagnosis. It is a safe place of support, understanding, and kindness, that cheers our successes and coaches us through our setbacks. Their tiered step process helps the journey from feeling overwhelming, and the team effort of NEPS leverages the strengths of the entire staff. We cannot imagine traversing this path, successfully, without the support of NEPS.

Testimonial 2015 – Our son Ryan was diagnosed with Selective Mutism in the fall of 2011. We struggled to understand his needs for years prior to his diagnosis and felt lost. After many consultations with his pediatrician and school special services, we were directed to Easter Seals in Dover for evaluation. We were seen by his clinicians in Dover for a couple of years when the news came that services were transferring to New England Pediatric Services in Bedford. Even more amazing news followed that his speech therapist was also making that transition. Our world has changed drastically for the best due to the services provided at NEPS. Ryan is co-treated by the most amazing team: Sarah (speech), Erica (OT), and Beth (behavioral). We call them our Hero’s. Our little guy would not be fully functioning in every day life without them and their interaction with his school services. They say it takes a village, well they are a huge part of our village. Ryan is now almost 8 years old and has a voice

Testimonial 2014 – My family has had a relationship with the therapists at New England Pediatric Services for a number of years. We have benefited from their specialized Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Psychological services.  I was lucky enough to find these amazing therapists when I was searching for help for my daughter Anna.  Anna was diagnosed with Selective Mutism when she was 5 years old.  During this time she was struggling with extreme anxiety at school and was unable to communicate with peers and adults in the school setting.  I was struggling trying to find professionals that were experienced in working with children with this disorder.

The therapists at New England Pediatric Services have expert knowledge on Selective Mutism.  They were able to establish a treatment plan that helped Anna improve her comfort, confidence and communication, allowing her to manage her anxiety and increase her communication in all settings. One of the most beneficial services that they provided was consulting with Anna’s school team, educating them on Selective Mutism and giving them evidence based strategies to help Anna progress in the school setting.  This service included providing weekly visits to Anna’s school, attending IEP meetings, and helping to establish appropriate accommodations and detailed goals.  They played an absolutely vital role in educating Anna ‘s school Speech Language Pathologist on appropriate treatment strategies and went above and beyond visiting the school weekly until they were able to successfully implement these strategies  with Anna.

I am happy to say that Anna is a very happy 8 year old that is doing amazing in school.    She is able to fully communicate with all her peers and has many friends. She communicates with her teachers and participates in class.  She was even able to sing in her Christmas concert last year and recently presented a project on Italy in front of her entire class.  I can say with 100% certainty that we would not be where we are today without the expertise and support of the wonderful caring therapists at New England Pediatric Services.