Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Introduction to Selective Mutism an overview

To make things easier I have written a short (11) slide presentation on Selective Mutism. I have added this onto my facebook blog page but for all of those who don't have facebook I will add them here also. If you are on facebook please head on over and like my blog page, add me to an interest list so I am not lost in the pages feed too! (more instructions on the blog page)

Without further discussion.

A common misconception of issue of confusion is that the child is able to speak but not in all situations. So often a child can be seen to speak at home or at safe places such as Grandma's house but unable to speak a word say at school or at a restaurant.

Entering school is a important opportunity to recognise the symptoms of Selective Mutism.

Please not avoidance is not a behavioural issue, the child is living in constant fear and the step of avoiding a situation will relieve the feelings of anxiety. When one is stuck in flight, fight of freeze, logic does not apply in these situations.

If the child is able to speak when you are not in the room or whisper to someone else this is not a sign of being stubborn or willful. Be grateful that your school environment is safe enough for the child to speak at all. Some children are not able to speak a word in school.

During diagnosis it is important to take into consideration simple issues such as a hearing impairment. So it is vital during the workup of diagnosis that a child's hearing is tested, their speech assessed, to ensure that there is no other cause besides Selective Mutism. Also note that children with Selective Mutism can have speech delays which complicates because the child is not able to hear and repeat language as often as others.


  1. thanks for this blog site. i am an SLP working with a child with SM and the information you've posted on your site, including your personal struggles, are really helpful. also, i'm Christian and it's encouraging to read the Lord's work through your life and journey as a mum with this special needs kiddo.
    please keep writing as i'll be back to continue reading.


  2. thanks speechiespeaks thanks for reading I hope that the information on here helps you. I know that the child mind institute have a great webinar on how to assess speak for a child with SM that might be helpful for you.