Selective Mutism Foundation, Inc. is the Voice of Experience.
An ethical, non-profit, public service organization since 1991.

This website is presented to broaden public awareness and understanding of
Selective Mutism.

Selective Mutism is a childhood anxiety disorder with a persistent FAILURE (not refusal) TO SPEAK in select social settings.

New for 2013! Click here for Research Participation

Click here to read about Adam Wakefield, a student with Selective Mutism in the U.K. and join his Facebook group, "Breaking the Silence." (This is a pdf document, you must have Adobe Reader installed to view it).


 

Selective Mutism is an anxiety disorder characterized by not speaking outside the home to select individuals or in select settings, which continues for more than 1 month. Most commonly found in children, they understand spoken language. 
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Pioneers of Selective Mutism since 1991. Selective Mutism Foundation is not affiliated with any other organization or website.  Initiators of published research, DSM revisions, the first 3 TV segments to ever acknowledge SM. Inventors of school based 504 plans, Inservice, strategies, etc.

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The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV and DSM IV-TR) under Selective Mutism Diagnostic Features and Differential Diagnosis, clearly indicate that Selective Mutism should be distinguished from speech impairments, and that Selective Mutism should be diagnosed if the child’s failure to speak is not considered language impairment.
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The following questions can be used to help you recognize the symptoms of Selective Mutism.
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Some younger children may copy the silent behavior of a sibling with Selective Mutism.  Although the younger child may be a bit shy by nature most of the not speaking is a learned behavior.  The younger child usually does not have any symptoms of...
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As a parent, you must be your child’s biggest advocate!  You will become empowered when you saturate yourself with information and knowledge!  You need to develop social skills when they are young.  This helps later in life in relationships with spouses, friends, and co-workers.
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Most parents wish they could see into the future to know what lies ahead for their child so they can make the best choices and decisions when coping with Selective Mutism.
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Associated behaviors may include no eye contact, no facial expression, immobility, or nervous fidgeting when confronted with general expectations in social situations.  These symptoms do not indicate willfulness, but rather an attempt to control rising anxiety.
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The Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM (I) was first published in 1952 as an effort to provide descriptive diagnostic categories to serve as a useful guide for clinicians in diagnosing mental disorders.  The manual was updated throughout the years... 
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Selective Mutism was first reported by a German physician, Kussmaul, in 1877.  He described physically normal children who developed mutism in certain situations.  He called the condition “Asphasia Voluntaria”, meaning voluntary mutism. 
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" I suffered with Selective Mutism all my life.  Now, I finally got out of my shell and I am speaking to people.  I had a few jobs in the past that I never had before when I was in high school.  It was hard to get a job but I did it.  I just went to interviews and spoke up to the manager and told him I was a great worker..."
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The Selective Mutism Foundation (1991) was the major source in bringing this disorder to the forefront.
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