Question: Is Selective Mutism A Neurological Disorder?

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..

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.

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.

At what age is selective mutism diagnosis?

Symptoms of selective mutism usually become noticeable between the ages of two and four years. However, the diagnosis may not be apparent until the child has entered school or other social situations. Functioning in school and social situations may be impaired.

How does selective mutism affect learning?

If left untreated the child with selective mutism may have difficulties with: Learning to talk, speech intelligibility and clarity. Self esteem and confidence when they realise their skills do not match their peers. Bullying when others become more aware of a child’s difficulties.

Is being mute a disability?

In general, someone who is mute may be mute for one of several different reasons: organic, psychological, developmental/ neurological. For children, a lack of speech may be developmental, neurological, psychological, or due to a physical disability or a communication disorder.

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.

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.

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.

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 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…•

How do you fix 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.

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 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.

Who treats 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 does selective mutism affect the brain?

Brain Studies Studies show that children with selective mutism have a low threshold of excitability in a portion of their brain called the amygdala, which explains most of the behavioral issues these children exhibit. The amygdala senses potential danger by processing signals from the sympathetic nervous system.

What kind of disorder is selective mutism?

Selective mutism (SM) is an anxiety disorder in which a child is unable to speak in some settings and to some people.

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…