Is Selective Mutism A Form Of Anxiety?

Is selective mutism an anxiety disorder?

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..

How do you know if you have selective mutism?

How do I know if my child has selective mutism?Speaks in certain settings but stops talking, either completely or almost completely, when other people are around.Looks frozen or paralyzed (like a “deer in the headlights”) or even angry when asked questions by strangers or when s/he feels uncomfortable.More items…

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.

Who can treat selective mutism?

You can start by asking your pediatrician, child’s school, family or friends who they have had direct experience with or who they have heard is a good child therapist. You will want to find a child psychologist, psychiatrist or clinical social worker who specializes in the treatment of childhood anxiety disorders.

How can teachers help students with selective mutism?

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…

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.

What triggers selective mutism?

There is no single known cause of selective mutism. Researchers are still learning about factors that can lead to selective mutism, such as: An anxiety disorder. Poor family relationships.

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.

Do speech therapists treat selective mutism?

Treatment for Selective Mutism. Each person with selective mutism needs to work on different skills. Your doctor may suggest medication, which works for some people. SLPs will work to get your child comfortable talking in all situations.

Can 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.

How do you help 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…•

Is selective mutism the same as social anxiety?

Selective mutism can be considered as a variant of social anxiety disorder because of the significant overlap in symptoms profile as well as treatment response.

Is selective mutism a disability?

One disability not only hidden but most frequently overlooked is Selective Mutism. According to the SMart Center: “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.

Is selective mutism genetic?

The majority of children with Selective Mutism have a genetic predisposition to anxiety. In other words, they have inherited a tendency to be anxious from one or more family members.

Can a child be nonverbal and not autistic?

These can be on a spectrum from mild to severe. But some people with autism may not speak at all. In fact, as many as 40 percent of children with ASD are nonverbal.

Why is selective mutism called?

In 1877, German physician Adolph Kussmaul described children who were able to speak normally but often refused to as having a disorder he named aphasia voluntaria. Although this is now an obsolete term, it was part of an early effort to describe the concept now called selective mutism.