Quick Answer: Is Selective Mutism A Communication Disorder?

What type of disorder is selective mutism?

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..

What triggers 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.

Is selective mutism a choice?

Many people think that kids will outgrow selective mutism with time, but this is usually not true. If left untreated, children with selective mutism may endure years of suffering and miss out on age appropriate activities.

How do you get rid of selective mutism?

Among the most effective methods of treating symptoms of selective mutism is CBT. This action-based and problem-solving talking therapy is carried out by highly trained therapists, where you or your older child can benefit from further understanding of the disorder and anxiety in general.

How do you know if you have selective mutism?

Your child may have selective mutism if s/he… Speaks in certain settings but stops talking, either completely or almost completely, when other people are around. Looks frozen or paralyzed (like a “deer in the headlights”) or even angry when asked questions by strangers or when s/he feels uncomfortable.

How does selective mutism affect learning?

If left untreated the child with selective mutism may have difficulties with: Learning to talk, speech intelligibility and clarity. Self esteem and confidence when they realise their skills do not match their peers. Bullying when others become more aware of a child’s difficulties.

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 selective mutism inherited?

The majority of children with Selective Mutism have a genetic predisposition to anxiety. In other words, they have inherited a tendency to be anxious from one or more family members.

Is selective mutism a neurological disorder?

The neurological basis for selective mutism is thought to be a cascade of events in an area of the brain known as the amygdala, which receives danger signals from the environment. The anxiety from a situation perceived as dangerous to the child’s well-being causes a communication shutdown.

How do you communicate with selective mutism?

When interacting with a child with Selective Mutism, DO:Allow 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.More items…•

Does selective mutism ever 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.

Is selective mutism a disability?

One disability not only hidden but most frequently overlooked is Selective Mutism. According to the SMart Center: “Selective Mutism is a complex childhood anxiety disorder characterized by a child’s inability to speak and communicate effectively in select social settings, such as school.

Do speech therapists treat selective mutism?

Treatment for Selective Mutism. Each person with selective mutism needs to work on different skills. Your doctor may suggest medication, which works for some people. SLPs will work to get your child comfortable talking in all situations.

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.

How can teachers help students with selective mutism?

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…

Can a teenager develop selective mutism?

While selective mutism (SM) is an anxiety disorder often associated with young children, teens and adults can also suffer from SM. In many cases, teens with SM have been struggling with anxiety for years.

What causes muteness?

Neurological damage or problems with development of the area of the brain involved in speech production, Broca’s area, may cause muteness. Trauma or injury to Broca’s area, located in the left inferior frontal cortex of the brain, can cause muteness. Muteness may follow brain surgery.