Selective Mutism

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Educating Students With Selective Mutism
Mollie Culmone

Abstract
Selective Mutism is not a disorder that can be immediately diagnosed, but it is better to catch it at an early age. It is usually misdiagnosed or brushed off as a child being “shy”. Parents, teachers and society alike have seen the characteristics in these children and unknowingly hoped that these children would just “grow out of it”. Because Selective Mutism is often misdiagnosed, children can go without treatment and this makes it difficult to reach the child in time for this not to affect them long term. It is hard for children with Selective Mutism to form personal connections with peers or people that are not in their family. By taking a stand as parents and teachers and educating ourselves about this disorder and how to treat it, we might be able to help these undiagnosed children who are silently suffering with this disorder.

Educating Students With Selective Mutism
Selective Mutism is described as a “persistent failure to speak in specific social situations (such as school, or with playmates) where speaking is expected, despite speaking in other situations” (Camposano, 2011). Children with Selective Mutism will not have problems speaking and interacting with people that they are close to and trust. The problems occur when they are outside of the home and their comfort zones. Most people mistake Selective Mutism for a speech disorder because the children that have this disorder are so quiet that they automatically assume that the child has a problem with their speech or understand the language. Anxiety seems to be the biggest problem for children with this disorder. Lisa Camposano in 2011 states that, there is evidence that family history of anxiety often plays a role in the disorder while speech and language problems along with will full opposition, do not seem to contribute to the development of Selective Mutism. Because shyness is usually what people blame first when it comes to...
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