Quick Answer: Is Selective Mutism Voluntary?

What triggers selective mutism?

These factors include a family history of anxiety, speech issues, language problems, and a tendency to avoid unfamiliar settings.

There is no evidence that abuse or neglect can cause selective mutism in children or adolescents..

What it feels like to have selective mutism?

A child or adult with selective mutism does not refuse or choose not to speak at certain times, they’re literally unable to speak. The expectation to talk to certain people triggers a freeze response with feelings of panic, like a bad case of stage fright, and talking is impossible.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Do people 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.

Is selective mutism special needs?

Selective Mutism is not a Learning disability, Emotional disturbance, nor a Speech/Language impairment. A Selectively Mute student who displays any of these conditions would then have an additional and separate education need.

How do you help 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…•

How can adults overcome selective mutism?

In order to reach this stage, behavioural therapies used in the treatment of selective mutism in both children and adults include:Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) … Desensitisation. … Shaping. … Positive and negative reinforcement. … Family therapy. … Medication for selective mutism.

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.

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.

What teachers should know about selective mutism?

Don’t allow selective mutism to keep a child from participating and learning. Early on, allow them to use thumbs up/thumbs down, pointing, nodding, and other non-verbal communication skills as needed. Over time, the goal will be to move to verbal strategies, but in the meantime, this allows learning to continue.

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 a form of autism?

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.