Selective Mutism (SM) is an Anxiety Disorder*, whereby:
- the child speaks happily and freely in some situations, but not in others
- the inability to speak in certain situations is limiting learning or social functioning,
- the varied speech pattern has been apparent for a month or more
Children suffering from SM change their level of communication depending on the environment and the people present. As a result, social comfort and communication will change dependent on environment, setting and persons involved or present.
*(Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-5; APA 2013)
I visit the family directly in their own home as this enables the child to feel more relaxed.
My approach is to provide families with structured, individualized, step-by-step treatment. This will involve looking at all the various stages of social communication and mapping the speaking habits for a child with Selective Mutism.
A complete evaluation is provided consisting of:
- Parent and teacher assessment forms
- Parent and child interviews
- Evaluation and understanding of which stage the child is at during particular social encounters.