What is Selective Mutism?
Selective mutism is a severe anxiety disorder. It refers to when person is unable to speak in certain social situations. These include being at school or with relatives children do not see very often.
It usually starts during childhood and, if left untreated, can persist into adulthood.
A child or adult with selective mutism does not refuse or choose not to speak at certain times, they’re literally unable to speak.
The expectation to talk to certain people triggers a freeze response with feelings of panic, like a bad case of stage fright, and talking is impossible.
In time, the person will learn to anticipate the situations that provoke this distressing reaction and do all they can to avoid them.
However, people with selective mutism are able to speak freely to certain people, such as close family and friends, when nobody else is around to trigger the freeze response.
It affects about 1 in 140 young children. It’s more common in girls and children who are learning a second language.
Webinar Replay and Factsheet
Watch our Webinar Replay by Rebecca McCullough of Eden Consultancy and learn more about Selective Mutism.
Video 20 mins.
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