Sunday, August 9, 2015

Book Review: I Have Something to Say by Kathryn Harper

Published: July 23rd, 2015
Publisher: self-published
Read from July 27th to August 5th, 2015
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Kathryn Harper suffered from selective mutism as a child when very little was known about this frequently misunderstood condition. In her teens and early adult years she developed further complications as a result of her untreated anxiety.
Today, it is important to Kathryn to share her perspective, which she has been able to develop using the benefit of hindsight, and a willingness to explore her past. She hopes that this book will provide insights and a greater understanding for people whose lives are affected in some way by selective mutism.
"I have wanted to write this book since 1985. As a six year old girl I had no idea that selective mutism even existed, but my silence was palpable and inside of it I was developing all kinds of conversations, explanations, questions, and insights ..."


I'm just going to start off by saying that  I highly recommend this book to anyone who suffers from selective mutism or knows someone who does. It's something that you hear few personal stories on, and I think personal stories are such a key part of people who suffer from these sorts of conditions actually being able to come to terms with themselves. For that reason alone, this book is very valuable. Harper both writes about her own experiences and offers advice for others, and both parts of the book are excellent.

Personally, I don't suffer from selective mutism, and I don't know anyone who does either. But I do have social anxiety, and I found myself relating to quite a few of Harper's stories through that. They're not the same thing, but it definitely gave me an empathy that wouldn't have been there otherwise. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I was in situations strikingly similar to those that Harper describes. I really think the book would have been helpful to me too when I was younger and before I really got that social anxiety was the root of what I was experiencing. Like Harper with selective mutism, I never heard the term social anxiety until I was older, so I fully understand why it is so important to her to get out word about selective mutism.

Talking about these conditions is so beneficial for people, especially children, who suffer from them. I think Harper has managed to achieve her goal of writing a book that can be hugely important to those people with selective mutism.

I received this book for free from Storycartel in exchange for an honest review.

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