How Do You Fix Selective Mutism?

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 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

How do you talk to a child 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…•

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.

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.

Can a child outgrow selective mutism?

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.

What to do if child is not speaking?

How Can Parents Help?Focus on communication. Talk with your baby, sing, and encourage imitation of sounds and gestures.Read to your child. Start reading when your child is a baby. … Use everyday situations. To build on your child’s speech and language, talk your way through the day.

How do you overcome 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 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.