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Selective Mutism is when we feel such intense anxiety that we are physically unable to speak. This must occur for at least one month and in social situations where there is an expectation for us to speak. Selective Mutism usually presents before the age of 5. So even before we are in school we will show symptoms of this, and will struggle to speak when spoken to.
They also mention that it cannot be due to a communication disorder or not knowing a language very well. What selective mutism is, is when we have such an intense internal anxiety that we physically cannot speak. No matter how much we want to, we just cannot talk.
Treatment options can vary, and the 5 I am going to talk about today are:
1. SCAT (social communication anxiety treatment) is supposed to be the best treatment for this, and if you can find someone who practices this, I would encourage you to get in to see them.
2. Psychodynamic therapy. Which with children usually means play therapy. It can help them express themselves through play rather then feeling more pressure to talk.
3. Family therapy! I think this should be attached to every treatment option, because having a supportive living environment will help every child struggling with this.
4. Behavioral Therapy: This is when we reward the behavior we are wanting in our child. This could be giving gold stars, or move tv time, etc. Whatever the child likes, we can reward speaking with those things.
5. Medication! I know it's hard to think about putting our child on medication, but sometimes if our anxiety is too high to even participate in therapy, medication can help lower it enough so that we can actually try out some of the techniques we are working on in therapy.
I hope that you found this video helpful and that it better represents what Selective Mutism is. Please share your experiences and thoughts about this in the comments and share this video!! xox
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