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What is selective mutism?

Selective mutism

Selective mutism :  is a disorder that usually occurs during childhood. It is when the child does not to speak in at least one social setting. However, the child can speak in other situations. Selective mutism typically occurs before a child is 5 years old and is usually first noticed when the child starts school.

Symptoms

  • consistent failure to speak in specific social situations (in which there is an expectation for speaking, such as at school) despite speaking in other situations.
  • not speaking interferes with school or work, or with social communication.
  • lasts at least 1 month (not limited to the first month of school).
  • failure to speak is not due to a lack of knowledge of, or comfort, with the spoken language required in the social situation
  • not due to a communication disorder (e.g., stuttering). It does not occur exclusively during the course of a pervasive developmental disorder (PPD), schizophrenia, or other psychotic disorder.
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