Selective Mutism In Adults And Child: Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Definition:

Selective mutism is social anxiety and a rare psychological disorder. Children can speak and understand the language but cannot express themselves in a specific social situation in front of the public. 

In selective mutism, a person is having shy feelings and low self-confidence.

Selective Mutism In Adults And Child

Selective mutism is an anxiety disease where a person cannot speak in specific social situations, such as classmates at school or with relatives. It starts during childhood and is left in adulthood.

A baby or adult with selective mutism does not refuse or choose not to speak at certain times; they cannot speak.

I had earlier shared What is Infantile Autism?: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment  I hope you read.

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Table of Contents

Causes of selective mutism

Research suggests that the disorder is related to social anxiety and that genetic predisposition is likely. Like all mental disorders, there is one single cause.

In selective mutism also including this symptom:

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Symptoms of selective mutism

If you believe that child may be struggling with selective mutism, then look for the following symptoms:

    • Fear of people, shyness, and reluctance to speak between 2 and 4 years of age
    • Low self-confidence
    • Poor judgment
    • Easily irritated by noise and lights
    • Not maintaining an eye to eye contact.
    • Flat facial expression
    • Shyness

Characteristics of selective mutism

  • Result in higher anxiety levels.
  • Find it difficult to maintain eye contact.
  • They tend to worry about things more than others. 
  • Consistent failure to speak in a specific social situation not due to lack of knowledge.
  • It interferes with educational, occupational, social functioning.

I also wrote a article on Early Signs Of Antisocial Behavior in Children include: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment also you can read.

Treatment of selective mutism

A change of environment, e.g., Changing schools, where the child’s condition is not known, will make the child quite comfortable.

You might find this article useful: Children’s Mental Health and Emotional Well being in Primary Schools

Give the child a more convenient space in that suffering child is conduct into a controlled environment with someone they are at ease with and can communicate gradually. Another person introduces the situation involving several small steps. 

Desensitization: The child is allowed to communicate via nondirect means, phone, and webchat.

Shaping: Encouraging the patient to sound, then speak the words and then make the sentences like that to mold the behaviour.

Drug therapy: Antidepressant, anxiolytic drugs.

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