“Sue Newman, Co-Founder/Director of the Selective Mutism Foundation, Inc., was a major resource in the work of the renaming of the disorder, Elective Mutism, for the DSM-IV. We held meetings to discuss the views of parents with a child suffering from the disorder. She provided meaningful arguments for the deleterious effects of considering the disorder’s symptoms a choice, or elective behavior, on the part of the children. The arguments she presented were cogent, and clinically sensible. It was immensely helpful to have the input of a concerned citizen who had knowledge of other parent’s experiences. As a result of our discussions, Elective Mutism was renamed Selective Mutism, and diagnostic criteria was revised to reflect failure to speak in specific social situations, rather than ‘refusal’ to speak.”
Rachel G. Klein, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychiatry
New York University School of Medicine
Advisory Board Member to the
Selective Mutism Foundation, Inc.
DSM-IV 1994 Workgroup-Disorders usually first diagnosed during infancy, childhood, or adolescence.
Selective Mutism Foundation, Inc. is the voice of Trust and 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 an anxiety disorder with a persistent FAILURE (not refusal) TO SPEAK in select social settings.