Some children who communicate appropriately for their age find themselves strangely unable to do so in particular settings or with certain people. Sometimes a reluctance to talk is tied to speech and language difficulties, but when this is ruled out, then being anxious is likely the cause. This kind of social anxiety is referred to as “selective mutism” and affects about 1% of students. It can sometimes be a surprise to parents to discover that their child, who seems relaxed and easygoing while at home or with friends in a playground, is silent in the classroom. And when teachers see signs of relaxed communication in the schoolyard but not in the classroom, they sometimes think the child is just not trying. It is important to realize that the child wishes that the words would not get “stuck” in some situations and not in others. They need our help to finally free those words!