Quick Answer: How Does Selective Mutism Develop?

What causes selective mutism?

The cause, or causes, are unknown.

Most experts believe that children with the condition inherit a tendency to be anxious and inhibited.

Most children with selective mutism have some form of extreme social fear (phobia).

Parents often think that the child is choosing not to speak..

Can selective mutism go away?

Selective mutism typically does not go away on its own, and in fact can lead to worsened anxiety and social difficulty if not addressed. Treatment requires a cohesive plan between home and school to produce lasting change.

How do you talk to 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…•

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.

How can selective mutism help 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…

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.

How do you get selective mutism?

Causes of selective mutism Given that selective mutism is fairly rare, the risk factors are not well known. There are a few triggers that can be linked to the disorder: Temperamental factors: Watch for behavioral inhibition, negative affect, and parental history of shyness, social isolation, and social anxiety.

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.

Is selective mutism on the autism spectrum?

Selective Mutism is a Social Anxiety Disorder most commonly found in children and often mistaken and misdiagnosed as Autism. On the surface some of the characteristics may appear to mimic Autistic behaviors.

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.

Is there medication for selective mutism?

Abstract. Despite limited evidence, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are used to reduce symptoms of selective mutism (SM) in children unresponsive to psychosocial interventions.