Question: How Can You Help A Child With Selective Mutism In The Classroom?

Is there medication for selective mutism?

Though you may know them as antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are considered the first-line treatment for anxiety disorders.

Over 20 years of research with these medications has shown them to be the best for non-OCD anxiety..

How is selective mutism diagnosed?

Diagnosis of selective mutism is mostly on the basis of the patient’s clinical history. A speech-language pathologist (SLP) plays a key role in the diagnosis of the condition. A child who shows signs of selective mutism should be taken to an SLP, apart from a pediatrician and a child psychologist.

Is selective mutism curable?

The good news is that selective mutism is very treatable with the right care. Kids with SM respond best to behavioral therapy that is focused on helping them learn to speak in new settings, during new activities and with new people.

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…•

What happens if selective mutism is left untreated?

Left untreated, selective mutism can lead to isolation, low self-esteem and social anxiety disorder. It can continue into adolescence and adulthood if not managed.

Is selective mutism a special educational need?

Childhood Anxiety Disorder in Tamarac, Florida All too often, children experiencing Selective Mutism are evaluated and placed into special education programs in public schools. … Selective Mutism is not a Learning disability, Emotional disturbance, nor a Speech/Language impairment.

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.

Do speech therapists treat selective mutism?

Selective mutism is defined in the DSM-V as a psychiatric disorder. However, selective mutism is also a disorder of communication. For that reason, a psychologist or psychiatrist must work together with a speech-language pathologist to provide treatment for a child with selective mutism.

Does selective mutism qualify for an IEP?

All children and teens diagnosed with Selective Mutism qualify for a 504 plan and IEP as school staff members are needed to aide in facilitation of communication. … Selective Mutism affects the major life activity of speaking. An IEP covers individuals who meet the definition of qualified handicapped person.

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. Treatment requires a cohesive plan between home and school to produce lasting change.

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 does selective mutism affect learning?

Kids who have selective mutism might only be able to speak in a whisper to teachers or peers. Others might not even be able to manage a whisper, and might go the entire school year without speaking once.

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 assess selective mutism?

Use of non-threatening tasks, such as a picture-pointing task, may be beneficial during assessment when selective mutism is suspected as a possible diagnosis. Acknowledge and respond to the child’s gestures for expressive communication if the child is nonverbal.

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.

Can a child be nonverbal and not autistic?

But some people with autism may not speak at all. In fact, as many as 40 percent of children with ASD are nonverbal.

What causes a child not to talk?

A speech delay in an otherwise normally developing child might be due to an oral impairment, like problems with the tongue or palate (the roof of the mouth). And a short frenulum (the fold beneath the tongue) can limit tongue movement for speech production. Many kids with speech delays have oral-motor problems.

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 mental illness?

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. These children are able to speak and communicate in settings where they are comfortable, secure, and relaxed.

Can a child grow out of 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.