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How to Get Rid of Mutism


Mutism is a psychiatric disorder most commonly found in children, characterized by a persistent failure to speak in select settings, which continues for more than 1 month. These children understand spoken language and have the ability to speak normally. In typical cases, they speak to their parents and a few selected others. Sometimes, they do not speak to certain individuals in the home. Most are unable to speak in school, and in other major social situations. Generally, most function normally in other ways, although some may have additional disabilities. Most learn age-appropriate skills and academics. Currently, Selective Mutism, through published studies, appears to be related to severe anxiety, shyness and social anxiety. Selective Mutism may be associated to a variety of things, but the exact cause is yet unknown.

How is Selective Mutism Treated?

Behavior management programs based on the treatment of phobias have proven to be somewhat successful. Techniques should be consistent, and should include desensitizing the child by providing short-term goals, positive reinforcement, and rewards to motivate the child to speak. Pressure, including punishment, bribery, or consequences are harmful. One-word responses should be elicited at first, with gradual requests for more. After extensive treatment, some have been able to speak spontaneously in some, if not all social situations.

Various medications, known to be effective in treating adults with anxiety and/or social anxiety have been effective for many children, usually in conjunction with behavioral treatment. Several articles, which provide behavioral strategies, can be found in major libraries and journals that publish studies.

Facts and Tips about Mutism

  1. Mutism is a speech disorder which involves constant failure or unwillingness to speak.
  2. Mutism is a rare childhood state in which person is unable to talk in particular situations such as at school, with outsider but they communicate well in home or in comfortable places. 
  3. Anxiety and fear in social situations, environmental, oppositional performance, and shyness are responsible for mutism.
  4. Mutisms largely show negative effect on school performance, occupational achievement and social activity.
  5. Child has ability to learn, understand, speak and talk. They are normal in other areas of functions.
  6. Mutism may lasts for at least one month or may continue for several years.
  7. Pharmacotherapy, counseling and psychotherapy, assurance, moderate and regular support and may helpful to stop mutism.

Selective Mutism

Akinetic Mutism

Sometimes crying or laughing
are the only options left,
and laughing feels better right now.

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