Quick Answer: Is Selective Mutism A Mental Illness?

How do you fight selective mutism?

Treatment for selective mutismCognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) Among the most effective methods of treating symptoms of selective mutism is CBT.

Desensitisation.

Shaping.

Positive and negative reinforcement.

Family therapy.

Medication for selective mutism..

How is selective mutism treated?

The main treatment for selective mutism is behaviour therapy. Behaviour therapy involves gradually exposing a child to increasingly difficult speaking tasks in the context of a supportive relationship.

How is selective mutism diagnosed?

SM: Diagnosis To be diagnosed with SM a child must be able to speak in some settings but not in others, the condition must have lasted for a month that is not the first month of school, and it must interfere with schooling and social activities.

How can selective mutism help 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…

Do adults have selective mutism?

Selective mutism is a severe anxiety disorder that affects both children and adults. It is believed that one in 150* children are affected and it is more common in girls that in boys.

Is selective mutism a disability?

Selective Mutism is not a Learning disability, Emotional disturbance, nor a Speech/Language impairment. … In most cases, placement into Special Education settings has been ineffective or damaging, particularly with the Emotionally Disturbed program.

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 form of anxiety?

ELISA SHIPON-BLUM. 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.

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 a form of autism?

Some people confuse selective mutism with autism, but it is important to know that they are not the same disorder. Autism and selective mutism may appear to be similar; when children with selective mutism feel anxious, they often react with a lack of eye contact, a blank expression, and a lack of verbal communication.

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.

How do you talk to someone 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…•

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 selective mutism a neurological disorder?

The neurological basis for selective mutism is thought to be a cascade of events in an area of the brain known as the amygdala, which receives danger signals from the environment. The anxiety from a situation perceived as dangerous to the child’s well-being causes a communication shutdown.

Who can diagnosis selective mutism?

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.

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.

What selective mutism feels like?

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.

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.

Do speech therapists work with selective mutism?

SLPs are in an excellent position to coordinate intervention for children who have selective mutism because of their knowledge and skills in effective communication treatments (Schum, 2002).