Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
Selective mutism is a condition in which a person who is usuallyfluent in speech won’t speak in specific situations. Selective mutism primarily affects children.
What is going on in the body?
The majority of people who exhibitselective mutism appear to have some type of acute situational anxiety\ \
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
The cause ofselective mutism is not clear. Possible causes include:
Symptoms & Signs
What are the signs and symptoms of the condition?
Symptoms of selective mutism include:
Selective mutism does NOT appear to be related to:
Diagnosis & Tests
How is the condition diagnosed?
Diagnosis of selectivemutism is usually by physical examination. Tests include cranial CT scans, x-rays, dental exams, or examination by specialists. A neurologist or an ear, nose, and throat specialist may rule out other causes of lack of speech. A speech therapist and a psychologist can assess communication skills and mentalstate.
Prevention & Expectations
What can be done to prevent the condition?
There is nospecific way to prevent selective mutism at this time. Reducing childhoodemotional trauma or stress mayreduce this and other mental disorders.
What are the long-term effects of the condition?
Most episodes ofselective mutism may only last 2 to 3 months and cause short-term educationalor occupational disabilities. Long-term effects may include other behaviors or problems that can have a long-term impact on education and employment.
What are the risks to others?
Selective mutism is notcontagious and cannot be spread to others.
Treatment & Monitoring
What are the treatments for the condition?
Treatment for selective mutismmay include anxiety \ \
What are the side effects of the treatments?
Somemedications may cause drowsiness,sleep disorders, irritability, and stomach upset.
What happens after treatment for the condition?
Normal oral speechgenerally returns in a short time. The person may require furtherpsychological or psychiatric care for any other conditions that are present.
How is the condition monitored?
Progress in speech therapy and anxiety \ \
Article type: xmedgeneral