What are the symptoms of selective mutism?
Signs of selective mutism include:
- Consistent avoidance speaking in specific social situations (may be very talkative at home and refuse to talk to people at school, in friends’ homes and in public).
- Educational achievement or other daily functions are affected by refusal to speak. An otherwise bright child may receive an F on a speaking assignment rather than speak in front of class. They know the material, yet they are too anxious to speak in front of a group. The fear of speaking overrides the desire to receive a good grade. They are usually very upset because they feel they can’t force themselves to speak. They feel frozen without control over their verbal communication.
- Selective Mutism diagnosed for when a child refuses to speak one time, refusal to speak must occur over a period of at least one month.
A child with Selective Mutism may also display excessive shyness, clinging, temper tantrums, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, or an extreme fear of being embarrassed.