10 Tips for Parents of Children with Selective Mutism

May 18th, 2007
Categories: Anxiety Disorders

muteWhen a child has selective mutism, it is generally evident only out of the home. When the child is home, he usually is able to use appropriate speech. So, how can we help our children who have a disorder that’s only evident when we aren’t around?? 1. Remove the expectation and the pressure that the child will speak. Let your child know that you understand that he has difficulties. Offer understanding and support to him when he has difficult situations. 2. Don’t use punishment or bribery in attempts to persuade your child to speak. Knowing that it’s very important to you will only serve to increase the anxiety for the child. 3. Remember that selective mutism is an anxiety disorder… [more]

Selective Mutism

May 17th, 2007
Categories: Anxiety Disorders

mutismWhat Is Selective Mutism? Selective Mutism is a complex childhood anxiety disorder characterized by a child’s inability to speak in select social settings, such as school. These children understand language and are able to talk normally in settings where they are comfortable, secure and relaxed. (Selective Mutism Organization) My daughter, Rose, was 4yrs old and in the district special education preschool. Her backpack contained a page of an IEP update for me to sign. I read the new goals and laughed and laughed. One new goal was: “Rose will attempt spontaneous speech 2 out of 10 times.” Now Rose did have severe hypotonia, which is a problem with extremely weak/lax muscle tone. She was severely delayed in gross motor skills… [more]