It is normal for a child to feel shy when going to school for the first time. However, if a long time has passed and your extremely shy child has not talked yet, he or she might have selective mutism. Talk with a doctor about this situation and go to www.selectivemutismfoundation.org for information.
School can be difficult and challenging for kids with selective mutism. Parents can help make sure that their children are comfortable at school through the following tips: Inform the teacher about your child's condition. This way, the teacher can put more focus on your child. Talk with the staff about a 504 plan which your child …
Selective mutism is considered a rare childhood disorder characterized by failure to speak in social settings even though the child is capable of speaking. Treatment for selective mutism is available, though. They include: Psychodynamic Therapy Behavioral Therapy Family Therapy Medication-based interventions Doctors will have to thoroughly observe and closely monitor the child to determine which treatment option/s is …
How Teachers Can Help Children with Selective Mutism Thrive in School
Parents and teachers can work together in helping children with selective mutism fight their fears and anxiety. If you are a teacher handling a child with this condition, here are tips you can use: Do not pressure the child into speaking. Initiate communication through comments. Do not ask questions to connect with the child. Ask a question …
What is the DSM (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)? Why is it Important to You?   WHAT IS THE DSM? 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 …
Most high schools encourage students to do volunteer work. This is an excellent opportunity for the Selectively Mute teen to gain self-confidence. It’s a great avenue for them to gain valuable skills in a field they may be interested in pursuing later in life. As the teen gets involved in serving in the community, it …
Teacher Talk Teachers should stop all criticism when working with a Selectively Mute child. This includes verbally and writing on the child’s papers. They should encourage any positive attempts, no matter how small. Teachers should provide a relaxed, comfortable, supportive, and approving atmosphere for the child where all attempts at speaking would be met with praise. Encourage …
An article written for the Tampa Tribune by Donna Koehn TEACHERS SKILLS HELP KIDS OVERCOME SHYNESS Most researchers agree that a good preschool can help a young child develop social skills to ease shyness. However, the preschool teacher is the key to achieving that goal. When choosing a preschool, use the following guidelines for assessing the teacher. The …
Some children make excellent progress throughout the school year only to regress during the summer months. Summer camp is an excellent way to keep your child talking! Most are day camps during the weekdays where the child is not required to stay overnight. This is a fun way for them to interact with peers or …
All too often, children experiencing Selective Mutism are evaluated and placed into special education programs in public schools. It is assumed by Special Education school staff that these children will fare better in classrooms containing fewer students and more individual attention. It is on rare occasion that a Selectively Mute student will benefit from a …
Selective Mutism Lagging Behind in Research The SMF, Inc. provided research participants for the FIRST 2 largest scale legitimately published studies on SM. The results largely confirmed anxiety as the overwhelming symptom and assisted with developing Behavior Modification techniques and the class of medications used today to treat the Social Anxiety in SM. A legitimately published study …
School Blues The new school year brings new beginnings for a lot of parents and their children as they are filled with hope, anxiety, and anticipation. Some are entering kindergarten for the first time. This can be very traumatic for the child who has to adjust to being away from home and entering an unfamiliar environment. …
Pre-College Programs Some colleges/universities may offer an “Upward Bound” program, which helps young students prepare for higher education. The program provides educational programs to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds and assist low-income, first-generation college students. Students take classes in English, math, and science on college campuses on Saturdays and during the summer. Throughout the school …
Mutism or Autism? The Selective Mutism Foundation, Inc. is a national non-profit organization founded in 1991. This summary is intended to be informational and to assist with identifying undiagnosed and misdiagnosed students struggling with Selective Mutism, a misunderstood and socially crippling disorder. Selective Mutism is a Social Anxiety Disorder most commonly found in children and often mistaken …
Life After Selective Mutism Recovered Adults Below are a few paragraphs written by our young adults who suffered from Selective Mutism as children. They share briefly how they were able to overcome the disorder and become successful. Where can I even begin? I had always been so frustrated to see myself in a position where I had many …
Is Selective Mutism a Speech Disorder? The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV, DSM IV-TR, and DSM V) 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 …
How Did This Rare Disorder Become Known? The Selective Mutism Foundation (1991) was the major source in bringing this disorder to the forefront. As most health care professionals had never heard of Elective Mutism (renamed to Selective Mutism 1994) nor treated the disorder, treatment was based on medical journals dating back to the 1960’s. The available …
HELPING A CHILD WITH SELECTIVE MUTISM Sandra Coiffman-Yohros, Psy.D, LMHC North Miami Beach, Florida Advisory Board Member, Selective Mutism Foundation, Inc. Treating children with Selective Mutism can be an arduous and difficult task for teachers, parents, and professionals alike. It is difficult to understand the reasons why a child does not talk in the school or social …
What are some of the associated features of Selective Mutism? 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. Some may withdraw by pulling back when approached or touched and …
E. Steven Dummit, III , MD Former Advisory Board Member, Selective Mutism Foundation, Inc. In the course of my experience evaluating and treating children with Selective Mutism, both in research and clinical practice, the following concepts have evolved in my thinking as the answers to questions that I have often been asked, both by the families of …
College Programs College can be challenging for any young person. However, for those experiencing Selective Mutism, it can be extremely stressful. The simple act of attending college is indicative of tremendous courage and growth for those with Selective Mutism. Many people may be limited in what they can achieve in their lives because their shyness keeps …
WRONG DIAGNOSIS = WRONG TREATMENT = DAMAGING RESULTS! WE ARE OFTEN IMITATED SO WE ANTICIPATE THAT THIS INFORMATION WILL SPREAD AND ASSIST IN PREVENTING THE WRONG DIAGNOSIS/TREATMENT AND STOP DAMAGING LIVES!! THERE ARE STILL NUMEROUS PROFESSIONALS AND FAMILIES WHO HAVE NEVER HEARD OF SELECTIVE MUTISM. DUE TO THIS FACT, THERE ARE STILL NUMEROUS PROFESSIONALS AND FAMILIES WHO’S …
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. One of the most important things parents can do is to be assertive and effective advocates for their child’s needs. For those just beginning …