Quick Answer: What Kind Of Disorder Is 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..

Can a teenager develop selective mutism?

Most affected children and adolescents function normally in other areas of their lives and are able to learn age appropriate skills despite not speaking in some important situations. Less than 1 % of the population has selective mutism. Girls and boys are both likely to develop this disorder.

What is the difference between autism and selective mutism?

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.

Why does a child develop 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.

Who can diagnose selective mutism?

Diagnosis of selective mutism is mostly on the basis of the patient’s clinical history. A speech-language pathologist (SLP) plays a key role in the diagnosis of the condition. A child who shows signs of selective mutism should be taken to an SLP, apart from a pediatrician and a child psychologist.

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.

Is selective mutism a medical diagnosis?

Selective mutism is in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: Fifth Edition, or DSM-5. Doctors and others use the DSM-5 to help diagnose social and mental problems. In the DSM-5, a child with selective mutism may: Have an anxiety disorder.

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…•

Does selective mutism run in families?

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.

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?

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 neurological disorder?

ABSTRACT. Selective mutism (SM) is a relatively rare psychiatric disorder of childhood characterized by consistent inability to speak in specific social situations despite the ability to speak normally in others. SM typically involves severe impairments in social and academic functioning.

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.

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.

What age can selective mutism be diagnosed?

Parents typically start noticing signs of SM when a child is three or four years old. The disorder might not be diagnosed until she is school-aged, when her problems with speaking become more apparent.

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 can selective mutism help in the classroom?

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…