Selective Mutism (69 books)Saving
What is Selective Mutism?
There are many common misconceptions about selective mutism. It is important to debunk the myths and understand the facts about selective mutism so that children suffering from the disorder can get the help they need. It is commonly assumed that children with selective mutism are not speaking because something really bad happened to the child. This is typically not true. In fact, the rates of trauma in kids with selective mutism are the same as the general population.
These children are able to speak and communicate in settings where they are comfortable, secure, and relaxed. This disorder is quite debilitating and painful to the child. Children and adolescents with Selective Mutism have an actual FEAR of speaking and of social interactions where there is an expectation to speak and communicate. Many children with Selective Mutism have great difficulty responding or initiating communication in a nonverbal manner; therefore, social engagement may be compromised in many children when confronted by others or in an overwhelming setting where they sense a feeling of expectation. Not all children manifest their anxiety in the same way.
The third installment in Myth Management -- a series addressing misconceptions that surround children struggling with Selective Mutism and Social Phobia. My hairdresser stood behind me, clumps of my wet hair falling quietly to the floor with each pass of the scissors, as I explained to her the Advanced Therapeutic Solutions ATS internship. We had exhausted the usual topics of my love life and the weather, so I moved on to work. My hairdresser froze and rested her hands on my plastic cape-covered shoulders. I scanned my limited knowledge of the condition, and I came up with nothing. Was selective mutism caused by trauma?
Trauma: There is a misconception that children with selective mutism have been children who are multi-lingual, although being bilingual doesn't cause SM.
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Selective Mutism: Frozen in Silence
Psychogenic mutism , which is also referred to as selective mutism, is mutism without any apparent physical cause. Mutism can be caused by a number of conditions, including deafness, speech delays, and developmental disabilities. But psychogenic mutism occurs when someone—usually a child—who is capable of speaking stops speaking. A child who meets a stranger and does not respond to questions is exhibiting a moment of psychogenic mutism. When mutism lasts longer than brief periods of time, however, it can inhibit communication and may require treatment.
Selective mutism can sometimes be mistaken for other things and vice versa. Here are some of the most common issues SM can be confused with, and how to differentiate between them. Oppositional behavior: Selective mutism is sometimes mistaken for oppositional behavior because a child with SM might seem to be refusing to answer questions. In reality, children with SM are extremely anxious and experience SM as an inability to speak even when they want to. In other words, a child with SM is unable to speak, not refusing to speak. Autism: Because autistic children and children with SM both struggle with socialization, the disorders can sometimes be mistaken for each other. Their socialization skills when they are at home with family look very typical.
A child experiencing an event of threatening or catastrophic nature may experience considerable post-traumatic psychological distress. Dog bites present an important public health problem and are a frequent cause of physical trauma in children. Physicians who manage paediatric trauma may not be vigilant of the high risk of psychological stress in children exposed to a physical injury. A 4-year-old white girl of Greek origin, with a dog-bite related trauma was admitted to the University Hospital of Crete, Greece, for surgical repair and intravenous antibiotic therapy due to extensive lesions. Exposure to the traumatic event triggered the onset of an unusual psychological response, selective mutism and acute post-traumatic stress disorder.