Selective Mutism

Selective Mutism usually starts in early childhood and is characterized by a failure to speak in situations where there is a normal expectation to talk. There is no problem with understanding language or the ability to speak normally. In comfortable situations, usually at home with the family or with a special friend, the child converses normally using appropriate volume, content and full sentences. Selective Mutism is especially difficult if it occurs at school as it can interfere with normal language development and learning. While Selective Mutism may have its roots in anxiety, it is the lack of speech that ultimately inhibits social development and education. Causes remain unknown but Selective Mutism is usually receptive to individual treatment if caught early. At Silber Psychological Services, we use a combination of behavior management strategies, desensitization, positive reinforcement and compliance training to assist children in overcoming difficulties in speaking across situations and settings.