Objective. To provide practical guidelines for the assessment and treatment of children with selective mutism, in light of the recent hypothesis that selective mutism. Selective Mutism (SM) is a communication anxiety disorder. This site contains information on and support for parents, people with SM, and professionals. Stuttering, also known as stammering, is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables. Shooting Games For Adults Free Download there. Can adults who have recovered from selective mutism in childhood and adolescence tell us anything about the nature of the condition and/or recovery from it? Comprehensive Long Island outpatient center for children, adolescents and adults offering services - ADHD,ADD,anxiety disorders, depression, OCD,selective mutism, tic.
SSRIs ©Feb 2013 Page 3 of 4 Child & Adolescent Mental Health Programs, BC Children’s Hospital, 4500 Oak Street, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6H 3N1.
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About SM Brochure – Selective Mutism Foundation. About SM Brochure. Understanding Selective Mutism. Brochure. A Silent Cry for Help!© Copyright. CLICK HERE TO PRINT BROCHUREWHAT IS SELECTIVE MUTISM? Selective Mutism is a social anxiety disorder most commonly found in children. It is characterized by a persistent failure to speak in select settings which continues for more than 1 month.
These children understand spoken language and have the ability to speak normally. In typical cases, they speak to their parents and a few select others. Sometimes they do not speak to certain individuals in the home. Most are unable to speak in school and in other major social situations.
Generally, most function normally in other ways. Most learn age appropriate skills and academics.
Currently, SM, through published studies, appears to be related to severe anxiety, shyness, and social anxiety, SM may be associated to a variety of things, but the exact cause is unknown. These children may respond or make their needs known by nodding their heads or by pointing. Some remain expressionless and/or motionless until someone correctly guesses what they want.
The majority of these children expresses a great desire to speak in all settings, but are unable to due to anxiety, fear, shyness and embarrassment. Many do participate in activities nonverbally.
The withdrawn behavior is not usually obvious until the child begins school. Sometimes, even then, the child is viewed as shy and it is assumed that the shyness is temporary and will be outgrown.
By the time SM is recognized, if it is recognized, the child has usually experienced at least 2 years in which no verbalization has become a way of life. The behavior becomes increasingly difficult to change because of the lapse of time without intervention. WHAT ARE THE FIRST SYMPTOMS OF SELECTIVE MUTISM?
The first symptoms of SM are usually noticeable between the ages of 1 to 3 years. These symptoms may include shyness, hiding, a reluctance to speak in some settings, and a fear of people. There may be a predisposition to SM and the symptoms become noticeable when the child is requested to respond verbally and/or interact in social situations where speech is expected, including pre- school, elementary school and community environments. WHAT CAUSES SELECTIVE MUTISM? The cause has not been established.
There are few systematic research studies and they suggest the possibility of a genetic influence or vulnerability for SM. The majority of families who contact the Foundation describe either themselves or other family members as previously or currently experiencing SM, extreme shyness, panic attacks, social anxiety, or similar type symptoms. IS SELECTIVE MUTISM CAUSED BY ABUSE?
Fortunately, research has discarded this theory. However, due to the misunderstanding and misdiagnosis of the symptoms, some parents have been suspected or accused of child abuse. Sexual abuse has been suspected as well. The Selective Mutism Foundation, Inc.
The suspicion or accusation of parental child abuse is devastating and has caused tremendous grief and deterred many families from seeking help for their children. There is always a possibility that some children who have been abused do not speak.
However, the abuse may not be specific to immediate family members, but could occur from any adult, or even other children. We advise contacting the appropriate agencies only if there is a definite indication of abuse. HOW IS SELECTIVE MUTISM DIAGNOSED? The crucial diagnostic element is that the child has the ability to comprehend spoken language and to speak normally, but usually fails to do so in select settings. These children display reasonably appropriate verbal and interactive skills at home in the presence of a few individuals with whom they feel at ease. The term Selective Mutism should distinguish individuals who demonstrate selectivity with whom they speak and are comfortable with, from individuals who speak to no one. Populations which should be excluded are immigrants who speak another language, have no history of the disorder, and experience SM for a short period of time, and those who suddenly and temporarily stop speaking due to a traumatic event. In these cases the mutism is usually transient.
DO INDIVIDUALS EXPERIENCING SELECTIVE MUTISM HAVE ASSOCIATED BEHAVIORS? Yes. Associated behaviors may include no eye contact, no facial expression, immobility, or nervous fidgeting when confronted with general expectations in social situations.
These symptoms do not indicate willfulness, but rather an attempt to control rising anxiety. Some may withdraw by pulling back when approached or touched. Often the body language is misinterpreted as abuse; however, we have found that these behaviors stem from anxiety. Based on responses to the Foundation, a number of individuals report also having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and/ or Tourette Syndrome type symptoms, and a variety of phobias as well. IS THERE A RELATION BETWEEN SELECTIVE MUTISM AND AUTISM?