Does Selective Mutism Ever Go Away?

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..

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.

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 person 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 there medication for selective mutism?

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.

Is selective mutism a real thing?

Selective mutism (SM), also known as situational mutism, is an anxiety disorder in which a person normally capable of speech cannot speak in specific situations or to specific people if triggered. Selective mutism usually co-exists with social anxiety disorder.

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 do you deal with selective mutism in the classroom?

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…

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.

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.

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 we stop selective mutism?

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 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.

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.