Is selective mutism a form of autism?

Some professionals falsely view selective mutism as a form of autism or a learning disability. Children with learning disabilities or autism may demonstrate symptoms of the disorder, but selective mutism is not commensurate to an autism or learning disability diagnosis.

What is the difference between selective mutism and autism?

Autism is pervasive – it impacts the way a person sees, interacts with and experiences the world. It isn't turned on and off. 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 don't see very often.

What is the root cause of 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.

What type of disability is selective mutism?

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. These children are able to speak and communicate in settings where they are comfortable, secure, and relaxed.

Is selective mutism a developmental disability?

Conclusions: SM is associated with developmental disorder/delay nearly as frequently as with anxiety disorders. The mutism may conceal developmental problems in children with SM. Children with SM often meet diagnostic criteria for both a developmental and an anxiety disorder.

Selective Mutism & Autism

Is everyone with selective mutism autistic?

Some professionals falsely view selective mutism as a form of autism or a learning disability. Children with learning disabilities or autism may demonstrate symptoms of the disorder, but selective mutism is not commensurate to an autism or learning disability diagnosis.

Do parents cause selective mutism?

Selective mutism is related to shyness, social anxiety and inhibited temperament (e.g., fearful of new experiences, slow to adapt to new situations). There is some evidence to indicate a genetic link between children with selective mutism and anxiety in their parents or family members.

Is selective mutism a trauma response?

If you have traumatic mutism, you may be unable to talk in all situations following a trauma. On the other hand, with trauma-induced selective mutism, you may find it impossible to talk only in certain situations — say, in front of the person who hurt you or in a setting that resembles the circumstances of your trauma.

What happens in the brain with selective mutism?

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.

How serious is selective mutism?

It's a rare childhood condition. It can cause problems with school and social situations. A child with selective mutism may find certain social situations very stressful. This may cause anxiety so severe that the child feels unable to speak.

How do you fix selective mutism?

The most research-supported treatment for selective mutism is behavioral and cognitive behavioral therapy. Behavioral therapy approaches, including gradual exposures, contingency management, successive approximations/ shaping, and stimulus fading, are successful in the treatment of childhood anxiety.

How do you snap out of selective mutism?

The most common treatment for selective mutism uses behavioral therapies to gradually encourage the child to speak in increasingly difficult situations with the help of positive reinforcement. Other treatments, such as psychotherapy and medication, address the underlying anxiety the child faces in social situations.

Who was famous for selective mutism?

Angelou had selective mutism, an anxiety disorder that causes a child to not speak due to physical and psychological trauma they endured. In the five-year span that she experienced this, her listening, observing and memorizing skills improved and her love of books expanded.

What percentage of autistic people have selective mutism?

It's estimated that 0.2% to 0.8% of kids struggle with this, and that more girls are diagnosed with selective mutism than boys.

What is selective mutism now called?

Selective Mutism, sometimes called Situational Mutism, is an anxiety-based mental health disorder which usually commences in early childhood.

What medication is used for selective mutism?

Previous research has demonstrated the efficacy of fluoxetine, sertraline and fluvoxamine in the treatment of selective mutism and anxiety disorders.

How long does selective mutism usually last?

Your child will talk at other times and in other places. Not speaking gets in the way of school, work, or friendships. This behavior lasts for at least 1 month.

Is selective mutism a fight or flight response?

This means that once a person with selective mutism comes into contact with someone else, his or her autonomic nervous system — specifically the sympathetic nervous system — is activated with the fight, flight or freeze response, signifying extreme danger.

What happens if selective mutism is left untreated?

Left untreated, Selective Mutism may lead to increased stress within family units, decreased academic performance, and decreased socialization needed for appropriate development.

Do speech therapists treat selective mutism?

Speech therapy is a great resource when it comes to helping someone with selective mutism. Even though in most cases the child has the ability to speak, time with a speech therapist will help to build confidence and ease the child's anxiety.

Is selective mutism a mental health issue?

Selective mutism is an anxiety disorder characterized by a person's inability to speak in certain social settings such as at school, work, or in the community.

What not to do with someone with selective mutism?

However, children with selective mutism should never be coaxed or pushed to speak. The pace of treatment should be very gradual and children shouldn't be asked to do something that is too difficult for them.

What not to do with a child with selective mutism?

with Selective Mutism, DO NOT:

Approach the child without preparation. Look directly at the child without focusing on a prop. Ask open-ended questions, which require the child to think in order to formulate an answer. Ask, bribe, or beg the child to talk to you.

What not to say to someone with selective mutism?

When interacting with a child with Selective Mutism, DO NOT:
  • Try to be “the one who gets this child to speak.” These efforts did not work in the past, are not working now, and will never work in the future!
  • Disregard warm-up time.
  • Approach the child without preparation.

Is selective mutism Asperger's?

Young children with Asperger's may demonstrate selective mutism as a symptom. This occurs when they will only speak freely with people they are comfortable with, and may not speak at all to strangers. Extreme cases last for years.
Previous question
What resort does Kylie Jenner go to?
Next question
What race has baldness?