Selective Mutism is a childhood anxiety disorder characterized by a child’s failure to speak in specific social situations (such as school) despite speaking comfortably in other situations (such as the home). The child’s failure to speak is not due to a lack of knowledge of, or comfort with, the spoken language. Selective Mutism is identified in more girls than boys and is not as rare as once thought.
Recognizing Selective Mutism
- A child who is verbal, or even a “chatterbox,” at home, but nonverbal at school, church, or other social settings.
- Becoming paralyzed or frozen in social situations
- Inability to speak interferes with educational achievement and/or social situations
Recommended Treatment For Selective Mutism
Fortunately, there is help for children with Selective Mutism. Effective treatment involves behavioral therapy with controlled exposure. Emphasis is placed on experiencing successes and exposure occurs gradually, often beginning with non-verbal communication. Group therapy specifically tailored for children with Selective Mutism can be particularly helpful.
October Is Selective Mutism Awareness Month
For more information about Selective Mutism or to schedule an appointment with one of our selective mutism treatment specialists call (512) 246-7225 or email us at [email protected]