What Causes Selective Mutism?

Can selective mutism cause depression?

In the early teenage years, selective mutism is very often compounded by social anxiety disorder.

By young adulthood, or earlier, many people with selective mutism will also experience depression and other anxiety disorders, including agoraphobia..

At what age is selective mutism diagnosis?

Symptoms of selective mutism usually become noticeable between the ages of two and four years. However, the diagnosis may not be apparent until the child has entered school or other social situations. Functioning in school and social situations may be impaired.

Does selective mutism run in families?

The cause of selective mutism is not known. It tends to run in families. A child is more likely to have this disorder if other family members have had problems with selective mutism, social anxiety, or other anxiety disorders. It is not caused by abuse or trauma.

Is selective mutism a form of autism?

Myth 5: Selective mutism is a form of autism. However, children with selective mutism act differently across situations. They are often very social and talkative within comfortable situations, but shy and quiet in others. In contrast, children with autism tend to act the same across all types of situations.

How is selective mutism diagnosed?

Testing for Selective Mutism Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about how and when your child talks. Your child should also see a psychologist or psychiatrist to see if he has a problem like anxiety. A speech-language pathologist, or SLP, can test your child’s speech and language.

How long does selective mutism last?

Symptoms of selective mutism Lasts at least one month – not limited to the first month of school. Failure to speak is not due to lack of knowledge about or comfort with the spoken language.

What selective mutism feels like?

Appearance: Many children with Selective Mutism have a frozen-looking, blank, expressionless face and stiff, awkward body language with lack of eye contact when feeling anxious. This is especially true for younger children in the beginning of the school year or then suddenly approached by an unfamiliar person.

How do you deal with selective mutism in the classroom?

Teachers can help students with selective mutism by:developing warm, supportive relationships, even if the interactions are nonverbal.easing anxiety in the classroom by pairing them up with a buddy.using small-group instruction and activities.More items…

Who can diagnosis selective mutism?

Diagnosis of selective mutism is mostly on the basis of the patient’s clinical history. A speech-language pathologist (SLP) plays a key role in the diagnosis of the condition. A child who shows signs of selective mutism should be taken to an SLP, apart from a pediatrician and a child psychologist.

Is selective mutism a mental illness?

Selective mutism is a severe anxiety disorder where a person is unable to speak in certain social situations, such as with classmates at school or to relatives they do not see very often. It usually starts during childhood and, if left untreated, can persist into adulthood.

Can selective mutism be cured?

The good news is that selective mutism is very treatable with the right care. Kids with SM respond best to behavioral therapy that is focused on helping them learn to speak in new settings, during new activities and with new people.

How do you help someone with selective mutism?

DOs & DON’Ts for Interacting with Those with Selective MutismAllow for warm-up time.Monitor the child’s body language.Talk “around” the child at first with focus on parents or siblings.Get down on the child’s level and focus on a prop.Ask choice and direct questions to the child with focus on the prop.Allow for hesitation.Re-ask questions if needed.More items…•