Selective Mutism Network
Helping Every Child Find Their Voice
Are you a parent, family member, or a teacher who has a child that seems too shy, or hardly speaks in social situations in which there is an expectation for speaking? You may know a child with Selective Mutism.
Some children have a family history of Selective Mutism, extreme shyness, or an anxiety disorder. This condition can also affect the childs ability to function in school or social settings. Without receiving help, symptoms may get worse. This is an anxiety disorder that affects both children and adults. In some cases, some people experience an inability to speak in public. Some children will choose a friend or close family member to serve as an interpreter.
Selective Mutism usually occurs before a child is five years old and it's often noticed when the child starts school. Several parents are surprised by this condition because the child speaks normal at home. In some cases parents actually reported that the child is quite a chatterbox at home. Many parents and teachers know very little about the condition and label the child as just being shy. Children with this condition should be seen by a speech-language pathologist, pediatrician, and a psychologist or psychiatrist. This group of specialist will work together with the teacher, individual, and the family. Some strategies with school-age children include taping the child at home doing homework or other school activities.
Research has suggested that this disorder is related to extreme social anxiety and that genetic predisposition is likely. Social phobia is the third most common mental health disorder after depression. This condition is diagnosed more often in females than males. Children do not grow out of Selective Mutism, that is why it is so important to get help early. Recent studies have shown that seven out of every thousand children will be affected by this disorder. The Selective Mutism Network is here to help. Our goal is to help any parent or adult dealing with this condition. Let us help your child find their voice.