Selective Mutism

1955 Words8 Pages
Most disorders present in children or adolescents have distinct symptoms that one can easily catch as being atypical and hinting toward a disorder. However, there are other disorders that are much more difficult to recognize and even diagnose. One disorder that has been seen especially in children and adolescents is selective mutism. Selective mutism is an anxiety disorder in which a child is unable to talk and express his or her feelings in certain situation and to certain people persistently. These children are however capable of speaking comfortably in more familiar settings. To help children with selective mutism it is essential to fully understand the etiology and current treatments that are available. Selective mutism is an uncommon disorder that still has many questions to be answered about it. Selective mutism was originally acknowledged by a man named Kussmaul in the 19th century. He named the disorder aphasia voluntaria to describe the disorder in which individuals cannot speak in specific conditions or to people. The disorder gained the name elective mutism in 1930s to further elaborate on the persistent inability of individuals to speak in certain conditions. Currently is it named as selective mutism by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision(DSM-IV-TR) and know to arise originally in infants and childhood. Children who have been diagnosed with selective mutism persistently continue to be unable to speak with at school and with their classmates. However, the child is able to efficiently communicate at home with his parents (Wong, 2010). Since selective mutism has certain set criteria by the n for a child to be diagnose. The first and most important... ... middle of paper ... ...rather than an anxiety related disorder and thus the treatments are very different. Selective mutism is a very difficult disorder to deal with because the etiology is not perfectly understood yet. Information regarding the disorder is also limited because of the rarity of the disorder. However, the prognosis of the disorder has been good with medication and aggressive therapy, whether family or behavioral. The disorder resembles many other disorders such as PDD and adjustment disorder characterized by shyness. Both of these disorders can be separated from selective mutism easily knowing the symptoms. Future research is definitely needed to understand more about the biological and psychological impact of selective mutism along with more understanding about the etiology. Having more knowledge on the cause and impact of the disorder allows for a better treatment.
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