“A ‘hello’ is so easy to say. But to them, if they are able to say ‘hello’ to you, it’s already a big step,” said Ms Janet Wong, a mother of three. She is a primary caregiver to her 26-year-old son, Mr Nigel Ng, who was diagnosed with selective mutism at the age of 9.
Selective mutism is a rare anxiety condition where a person fears in having to speak in some social settings.
Janet often received feedback from teachers who observed that her son is not talking or responding in class. However, she found it puzzling as he communicates with his family members at home. Juggling with her previous job as an insurance agent, she also often felt frustrated with the multiple calls from teachers and having to rush down to school right after an appointment.