Is Selective Mutism A Mental Disorder?

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…•.

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.

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.

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 form of autism?

Myth 5: Selective mutism is a form of autism. However, children with selective mutism act differently across situations. They are often very social and talkative within comfortable situations, but shy and quiet in others. In contrast, children with autism tend to act the same across all types of situations.

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.

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.

Is selective mutism in the DSM 5?

Selective mutism falls within the category of Anxiety Disorders (APA, 2013, pp. 195–197). According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5; APA, 2013, p.

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. Treatment requires a cohesive plan between home and school to produce lasting change.

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 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.

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.

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.

Does selective mutism qualify for disability?

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.

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.

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.