Monday, October 21, 2013

Selective Mutism Awareness Month

This month is also Selective Mutism Awareness Month.  Many have never even heard of Selective Mutism (SM) before, but it is very real and can be very difficult to treat in some cases.  The Selective Mutism Foundation has a good informative page on their website that explains SM wonderfully!  So check it out.  The American Speech-Hearing Association also has a great article about SM.  This is a summarized fact list from The Educator's Room:
  • Often diagnosed before 5. 
  • There are varying degrees of severity from not making any sounds at all to whispering occasionally to certain people.
  • Some use gestures or will nod their head, others may just just stare or look panicked when spoken to.
  • Social situations, including school, is often referred to as a phobia for these children.
  • It affects 1 out of every 1,000 children.
  • To be diagnosed, the mutism has to have lasted for at least one month, not including the first part of school.
  • It is considered an Anxiety Disorder.
  • Without treatment, children can go without talking during their entire school years.
  • With intervention, selective mutism can be "cured."
  • It is not a communication disorder, but can occur in conjunction with speech or language delays.
  •  Children have the ability to talk and often will at home.

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